Intrinsic antimicrobial thermoplastic A(BC)n copolymers (n = 1, 2, 4), where A was poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), BC was a random chain of methylmethacrylate (MMA), and alkyl-aminoethyl methacrylate (AAEMA), were synthesized and the antimicrobial activity and hemolyticity were evaluated on plaques obtained by casting as a function of the architecture, the N-substituent groups of the AAEMAs (methyl, ethyl, isopropyl, and tert-butyl groups) and the hydrophobic/charge density balance. Antimicrobial effectiveness and efficiency is controlled by the surface charge density and by the influence of N-alkyl groups on the surface morphology. Also interestingly, it is the absence of hemolitytic activity in all copolymers. In presence of Escherichia coli, the A(BC)2 copolymer with 40% of N-methyl groups is the most efficient, killing 91% of the bacteria already after 1.5 h.
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