Biocidal polymer derived near white light-emitting carbonized polymeric dots for antibacterial and bioimaging applications

02 March 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


A growing antimicrobial crisis has increased demand for antimicrobial materials. It has become increasingly popular to convert polymeric macromolecules into carbonized polymer nanodots (CPDs) in order to achieve highly biocompatible materials with unique properties as a result of the ability to synthesize nanomaterials of the right size and add value to existing stable polymers. This work presents the tuning of polymeric carbon dots (PCDs) for antibacterial application by combining a biocidal polymer with one-pot solvothermal synthesis. PCDs displayed broad-spectrum antibacterial activity via various mechanisms, including inhibition of bacterial cell walls, ROS generation, and antibiotic resistance. Further, these biocidal PCDs were observed to show excitation-independent near-white light emission which on the other hand is generally possible due to mixed sizes, doping, and surface effects. As opposed to the parent biocidal polymer, CD added ROS-mediated bactericidal activity, increased cytocompatibility and nanofibers with anti-adhesive impact and the potential of imaging bacterial cells.


Carbonized polymer dots
near white light emission
antibacterial activity
nanofiber mat

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Experimental details of synthesis and biological studies, size and morphology characterisation data, photophysical data, mechanistic studies of antibacterial activity, and characterisation of nanofibers.


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