Microorganisms are ubiquitous in daily-life applications. They adhere to surfaces, grow, and multiply to form a colony of cells. This behavior can cause serious problems in particular in the food industry and in sanitary applications.
Maintenance-free sterile surfaces are a promising strategy to meet the requirement of long-term or even permanent antimicrobial activity, as the necessity to release small molecule biocides can be eliminated. Unlike common disinfectants that are applied as a solution, emulsion or spray, and require regular replacement, contact biocides maintain long-term antimicrobial activity.
The mechanism of the antimicrobial activity of polymers provided by mere contact has not yet been fully understood. However, positive charges in the polymers have been recognized as a prerequisite for the antimicrobial activity in polymers.