Sensing and antibacterial activity of imidazolium-based conjugated polydiacetylenes

Songyi Lee, Hua Cheng, Meiying Chi, Qingling Xu, Xiaoqiang Chen, Chi Yong Eom, Tony D. James, Sungsu Park, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (SciVal)


In the current study, we report the first example of polydiacetylenes (PDAs), where our PDA-based system acts as both a sensing probe and killer for bacteria. The contact of imidazolium and imidazole-derived PDA with various bacterial strains including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and ESBL-EC (extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli) results in a distinct blue-to-red colorimetric change of the solution as well as a rapid disruption of the bacterial membrane, which is demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Zeta potential analysis supports that antibacterial activity of the PDA solution originates from an electrostatic interaction between the negatively charged bacterial cell surface and the positively charged polymers. These results suggest that the PDA has a great potential to carry out the dual roles of a probe and killer for bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1016-1019
Number of pages4
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016


  • Antibacterial effect
  • Colorimetric sensor
  • Fluorescent sensor
  • Polydiacetylenes
  • Probe-killer


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