School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo, Shandong, China; Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, United States. Electronic address: [Email]
Benzalkonium chloride (BC) is a quaternary ammonium antimicrobial agent used in a variety of applications. In this work, BC was prepared into deep eutectic solvent (DES) with acrylic acid (AA) or methacrylic acid (MA). Within the newly prepared DES, BC is responsible for antimicrobial properties, while AA and MA are responsible for polymerization. Three types of microorganisms, E. coli (gram-negative bacilli), S. aureus (gram-positive cocci) and C. albicans (fungi), were assessed for antimicrobial properties through agar diffusion test. DES viscosity measurements and polymerizations were also conducted to assist the antimicrobial performance analysis. From this study, stronger antimicrobial effectiveness of BC-AA DES towards S. aureus and C. albicans was observed, while smaller inhibition zone widths were obtained for BC-AA DES polymer compared to BC-AA DES monomer which may due to the limited active component transportation after polymerization. When changing AA to MA, increased structural complexity and decreased linearity may limit the molecule movement thus reduce the inhibition zone width, which could be proved by the calculated activation energy results. Accurately determined eutectic ratio of DES is recommended to get optimized drug release control. This work offers a new sight for preparation of antimicrobial materials with stronger effectiveness and limited release.