, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 1933–1942 | Cite as

Antimicrobial efficiency evaluation by monitoring potassium efflux for cellulose fibres functionalised by chitosan

  • Lidija Fras-ZemljičEmail author
  • Ivan Kosalec
  • Marko Munda
  • Simona Strnad
  • Mitja Kolar
  • Matej Bračič
  • Olivera Šauperl
Original Paper


As there is a large gap in the field of fibre microbiological testing, the successful establishment of appropriate techniques is extremely appreciated. Antimicrobials prevent bacterial cell division by damaging the cell wall or affecting the permeabilities of cells’ membranes; they denature proteins, block enzyme activity, prevent cell survival, etc. Intracellular potassium cations are released by the inhibitions of pathogenic micro-organisms. Their quantitative determination enables monitoring of the bactericidal effect regarding antimicrobials. It can be used as an alternative technique for determining the inhibition of micro-organisms in contact with antimicrobial agents. Chitosan, a biodegradable natural polymer, possesses antimicrobial characteristics that depend on a number of factors such as the protonated amino groups’ quantities, degree of acetylation, molecular weight, solvents, etc. Over recent years chitosan has become extremely attractive for fibre functionalization usage. The aim of this paper was to apply spectrophotometry and potentiometry using potassium ion-selective electrode, respectively, for the quantitative analysis of potassium efflux, resulting from the degradation of micro-organisms’ membranes in contact with chitosan itself, as well as with cellulose fibres functionalised by chitosan.


Cellulose fibres Chitosan Potassium efflux Antimicrobial activity Potentiometric titration Atomic emission spectrophotometry 



We thank the ARRS office in Slovenia (ARRS project L2-4060) which provided financial support for this work. The authors also acknowledge the financial support from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia through the program P2 0118.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lidija Fras-Zemljič
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ivan Kosalec
    • 2
  • Marko Munda
    • 3
  • Simona Strnad
    • 1
  • Mitja Kolar
    • 4
  • Matej Bračič
    • 1
  • Olivera Šauperl
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Characterization and Processing of Polymers, Institute for the Engineering and Design of MaterialsUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy and BiochemistryUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Konus Konex d.o.o.Slovenske KonjiceSlovenia
  4. 4.Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia

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