Multicationic amphiphiles

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Multicationic amphiphiles: Novel Antiseptic and Biofilm disrupting agents

Multicationic amphiphiles: Novel Antiseptic and Biofilm disrupting agents

Pooja Majmudar, PhDTechnology Commercialization ManagerTemple University1801 N. Broad StreetConwell Hall, RM 401APhiladelphia, PA 19122Office

Inventor:William M. Wuest, PhD.Department Of ChemistryTemple University, Philadelphia, PA

BackgroundA growing number of medical infections are caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi that are resistant to antibiotics.

Every year more than 2 million people in the US get antibiotic-resistant infections and at least 23,000 die because current drugs no longer have the ability to stop their infections (CDC).

There is a shortage of antimicrobial agents in the pharmaceutical industry pipeline.

Over 80 % of all infections are associated with biofilms in which their resistance to currently available antibiotics increases and their capability for evading many host defenses enhances.

Biofilm infections lead to chronic/persistent infections or disabilities which contributes to an extremely heavy burden to overall healthcare costs.


AmphiphilesServed as antimicrobial agents for centuriesCommon amphiphilic substances aresoaps,detergentsandlipoproteins.

Cationic amphiphiles are membrane disruptors, capitalizing on electrostatic interactions with the anionic bacterial cell membrane.

Active antiseptic in Lysol (benzylalkonium chloride)

Multicationic AmphiphilesPreparation of biscationic amphiphiles

Preparation and structures of mono- bis- and tris- quaternary ammonium cations

BiofilmsBiofilm infections cause over 65% of nosocomial and foreign device infections (CDC).

These compounds possess minimum biofilm eradication concentrations as low as 25 M against Gram-positive biofilms, making them the most active anti-biofilm structures reported to date.

ApplicationsKilling or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms including but not limited to bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, protozoa

Killing or dispersing pre-established bacterial biofilms

Cleaning and Sterilization

Treatment of wounds, diseases or infections

Antiseptics, oil-pipeline cleaning, and antifouling treatment for ships


DemandDuring the past five years, growing consumer awareness of health, hygiene and the impact of pathogens worldwide has spurred growth in demand for disinfectants.

Hospitals and other healthcare service providers use disinfectants to control infectious organisms.

Market for Disinfectants

Related publications by the inventorBlack, Jacob W., Megan C. Jennings, Julianne Azarewicz, Thomas J. Paniak, Melissa C. Grenier, William M. Wuest, and Kevin PC Minbiole. "TMEDA-derived biscationic amphiphiles: An economical preparation of potent antibacterial agents."Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters24, no. 1 (2014): 99-102.

Jennings, Megan C., Laura E. Ator, Thomas J. Paniak, Kevin PC Minbiole, and William M. Wuest. "BiofilmEradicating Properties of Quaternary Ammonium Amphiphiles: Simple Mimics of Antimicrobial Peptides."ChemBioChem15, no. 15 (2014): 2211-2215.

Ator, Laura E., Megan C. Jennings, Amanda R. McGettigan, Jared J. Paul, William M. Wuest, and Kevin PC Minbiole. "Beyond paraquats: Dialkyl 3, 3-and 3, 4-bipyridinium amphiphiles as antibacterial agents."Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters24, no. 16 (2014): 3706-3709.

Fletcher, Madison H., Megan C. Jennings, and William M. Wuest. "Draining the moat: disrupting bacterial biofilms with natural products."Tetrahedron70, no. 37 (2014): 6373-6383.