Surface-Active Properties and Antimicrobial Study of Conventional Cationic and Synthesized Symmetrical Gemini Surfactants
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- Kuperkar, K., Modi, J. & Patel, K. J Surfact Deterg (2012) 15: 107. doi:10.1007/s11743-011-1269-0
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Symmetrical gemini surfactants of cationic series α,ω-alkanediyl bis (dimethyl ammonium bromide) commonly referred as “m–s–m” have been synthesized. Spectral analysis was performed to confirm compound structures and purity. Conductivity and surface tension measurements provide better understanding of the micellization process. Their self-assembly behavior in aqueous solution is also discussed in detail. The antimicrobial efficacy was measured by bacterial and fungal growth inhibition expressed as minimal inhibitory concentration values against five strains of a representative group of microorganisms viz. Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, Salmonella paratyphi B and Aspergillus niger. All of the synthesized surfactants showed antimicrobial activity against them, but at different levels depending on their structures. The surfactants possessing longer alkyl chains (more hydrophobic environment) demonstrated better antimicrobial functionality. The antimicrobial potency was found to be dependent on the representative target microorganism (Gram-positive bacteria > fungi > Gram-negative bacteria), as well as on the ionic nature of the surfactant (cationic), alkyl chain length (m = 12, 16) and spacer length (s = 2, 4, 6) of the synthesized compounds. Gemini surfactants such as 12-2-12 and 12-4-12 were found to be weakly active whereas 16-2-16 and 16-4-16 compounds proved to be the most potent antimicrobial surface-active agents among the synthesized gemini homologues.