Recently scientific and industrial interest has grown in relation to antimicrobial surfaces. This interest is mainly due to the persistent and prevalent microbial contamination of industrial and medical surfaces. A critical issue is the dissemination of bacterial colonies across biotic and abiotic surfaces, from surface contact-contact interaction. This ability to colonise materials presents a major problem for cross-contamination and pathogenic bacterial proliferation, resulting in wide-spread distribution and mutation, presenting increased risk to human health. There are two approaches to prevent bacterial spread – disinfection and antimicrobial surfaces. The use of disinfectants presents pollution to the surrounding environment, and the increased development of resistant microbial strains. The beneficial design of antimicrobial polymers enables contact-killing, without the release of biocides into the environment. This project aimed at synthesising sulfur polymeric materials through inverse vulcanisation, with the aim of producing functional antimicrobial materials. As of yet, there is no publication evaluating the antimicrobial effect of diisopropenyl benzene (DIB) and dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) co-polymers as bulk solids, even though elemental sulfur is known to exhibit antimicrobial effects. There is growing demand for materials with antimicrobial capabilities, especially in medical environments, where the epidemiology of hospital acquired infections is of great research interest. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of both S-DIB and S. DCPD using Escherichia coli (DSM 1576) and Staphylococcus aureus (DSM 346) against an internationally recognised standard (ISO 22196). To gain further in-depth analysis, confocal microscopy was employed to access the surface impact on bacterial cells.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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