Sulfur-Polymer Nanoparticles: Preparation and Antibacterial Activity

Romy A Dop, Daniel R Neill, Tom Hasell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


High sulfur content polymers prepared by inverse vulcanization have many reported potential applications, including as novel antimicrobial materials. High sulfur content polymers usually have limited water-solubility and dispersibility due to their hydrophobic nature, which could limit the development of their applications. Herein, we report the formulation of high sulfur content polymeric nanoparticles by a nanoprecipitation and emulsion-based method. High sulfur content polymeric nanoparticles were found to have an inhibitory effect against important bacterial pathogens, including Gram-positive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Salt-stable particles were formulated with the addition of a surfactant, which did not inhibit the antibacterial activity of the polymeric particles. Furthermore, the polymeric nanoparticles were found to inhibit S. aureus biofilm formation and exhibited low cytotoxicity against mammalian liver cells. Interaction of the polymeric particles with cellular thiols could be a potential mechanism of action against bacterial cells, as demonstrated by reaction with cysteine as a model thiol. The findings presented demonstrate methods of preparing aqueous dispersions of high sulfur content polymeric nanoparticles that could have useful biological applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20822-20832
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number17
Early online date19 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2023


  • Animals
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Polymers/pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • Sulfur/chemistry
  • Nanoparticles/chemistry
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mammals
  • polysulfides
  • biofilm inhibition
  • antibacterial
  • nanoparticles
  • inverse vulcanization
  • sulfur

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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