The increasing occurrence of antibiotic resistance has led to a growing interest for the design and production of new antimicrobial agents. Among alternatives to conventional biocides, ionic liquids (ILs), low temperature molten salts containing organic cations, mainly constituted by head groups with attached one or more aliphatic alkyl chain substituents, and organic or inorganic anions have been intensively studied. The development of polymeric materials with antimicrobial properties is important for their applications in health care and safety, principally for hospitalized patients. In addition to possessing the specific bacteriostatic and/or bactericidal capability, the antimicrobial agents must have physical and chemical characteristics that allow them to be easily incorporated into polymeric matrices, without affecting polymer properties and performance and avoiding complex synthesis procedures. This presentation will concern the synthesis and characterization of imidazolium ionic liquids (ILs) as active antimicrobial agents, the realization of polymer/ILs blends and the analysis of their thermal and mechanical properties, antibacterial activity, biocompatibility and cytotoxicity. Moreover, the surface distribution of ILs and wettability of the realized antibacterial blends together with the ILs release from them will be analyzed.
Dr. Daniela Clotilde Zampino is a researcher at the Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials (IPCB, Catania) of the National Research Council of Italy. Her research fields include synthesis and characterization of ionic liquids; development of antimicrobial polymer blends (PVC, PE, SEBS, Pebax®Rnew) loaded with different antimicrobial agents (ionic liquids, silver zeolites, silver nanoparticles, ferrocene derivatives, etc.); characterization of commercial and synthetic polymeric materials; determination of aromas loss (scalping) and migration of additives and monomers from polymeric materials; determination of metals concentration from different matrices (soil, water, polymeric materials and plants). She has been lecturer, tutor of fellows and Principal Investigator (PI) of research activities in PON (National Operational Project) and POR FESR Sicilia projects. She is also supervisor of MSc students and carries out training, tutoring and scientific dissemination activities.