The present article focuses on the amphiphilic cationic polymers as antibacterial agents.
These polymers undergo self-assembly in aqueous conditions and impart biological activity by efficiently
interacting with the bacterial cell wall, hence, used in preparing chemical disinfectants and
biocides. Both cationic charge as well as hydrophobic segments facilitate interactions with the bacterial
cell surface and initiate its disruption. The perturbation in transmembrane potential causes leakage
of cytosolic contents followed by cell death. Out of two categories of macromolecules, peptide oligomers
and cationic polymers, which have extensively been used as antibacterials, we have elaborated
on the current advances made in the area of cationic polymer-based (naturally occurring and commonly employed synthetic
polymers and their modified analogs) antibacterial agents. The development of polymer-based antibacterials has
helped in addressing challenges posed by the drug-resistant bacterial infections. These polymers provide a new platform
to combat such infections in the most efficient manner. This review presents concise discussion on the amphiphilic cationic
polymers and their modified analogs having low hemolytic activity and excellent antibacterial activity against array
of fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms.
Keywords: Cationic polymers, Amphiphilicity, Antibacterial activity, Microorganisms, Bacterial infections.
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