Reversibly switching the function of a surface between attacking and defending against bacteria

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2012 Mar 12;51(11):2602-5. doi: 10.1002/anie.201106466. Epub 2011 Dec 30.


Attack or defend! A smart polymer surface has two reversibly switchable equilibrium states, a cationic N,N-dimethyl-2-morpholinone (CB-Ring) and a zwitterionic carboxy betaine (CB-OH). CB-Ring will kill bacteria upon contact under dry conditions, whereas CB-OH will release the previously attached and dead bacteria and further resist adhesion of bacteria under wet conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Betaine / chemistry
  • Cations / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Morpholines / chemistry
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polymers / pharmacology*
  • Surface Properties


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Cations
  • Morpholines
  • Polymers
  • Betaine