Science China Chemistry

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 95–104 | Cite as

Redox-responsive ferrocene-containing poly(ionic liquid)s for antibacterial applications

  • Tikai Zhang
  • Jiangna Guo
  • Yingying Ding
  • Hailei MaoEmail author
  • Feng YanEmail author


Ferrocene (Fc)-containing imidazolium type ionic liquids (ILs) and corresponding poly(ionic liquid) (PIL) membranes with tunable antibacterial activity based on electrochemical redox reaction and host-guest chemistry were developed. The effect of Fc moiety on the antimicrobial activities against both Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) was studied by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). The presence of Fc groups highly enhanced the antibacterial efficiency of Fccontaining ILs because of the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The electrochemical oxidation of Fc to Fc+ and the formation of inclusion complexes between Fc and β-CD via host-guest interactions decreased the antibacterial activities of ILs and PIL membranes. The antibacterial activities may be recovered in some extent upon the electrochemical reduction of Fc+ to Fc or the exclusion of the Fc out of the cavity of β-CD. Furthermore, all the Fc-containing PIL membranes showed relatively low hemolysis activities and none cytotoxicity toward human cells, indicating clinical feasibility in topical applications.


antibacterial activities imidazolium cations ferrocene poly(ionic liquid) cytotoxicity 


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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars (21425417), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21704071), the Jiangsu Province Science Foundation for Youth (BK20170332), General Program Foundation of Jiangsu Province University Science Research Project (17KJB150033), General Program Foundation of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning (201740107), and the Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, and Science and Technology Innovation Fund Project of Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University (2017ZSCX03).

Supplementary material

11426_2018_9348_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (650 kb)
Redox-responsive ferrocene-containing poly(ionic liquid)s for antibacterial applications


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional Polymer Design and Application, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceSoochow UniversitySuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiChina

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