Antibiofilm effect of poly(vinyl alcohol-coethylene) halamine film against Listeria innocua and Escherichia coli O157: H7

Andrea Cossu, Yang Si, Gang Sun, Nitin Nitin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Bacterial biofilm formation is linked to several infections and foodborne disease outbreaks. To address this challenge, there is an unmet need to develop rechargeable antimicrobial materials that can provide continuous sanitation of contact surfaces, especially in the food industry. This study was aimed at evaluating a novel rechargeable antimicrobial polymer formed using poly(vinyl alcohol-co-ethylene) (PVA-co- PE) with halamine functionality to prevent biofilm formation with repeated exposure to high loads of bacteria and organic content and also to aid in inactivation of preformed biofilms upon contact with this novel material. The antibiofilm activity of this rechargeable antimicrobial material was evaluated using a combination of fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy techniques and biofilm metabolic activity analyses. The results determined on the basis of imaging and metabolic activity measurements demonstrated that halamine-functionalized polymer films significantly reduced Listeria innocua and Escherichia coli O157:H7 biofilm formation. This novel polymeric material maintained its antibiofilm activity with repeated cycles of extended exposure to high levels of bacterial load. These polymeric films were recharged using bleach and cleaned using mechanical sonication after each cycle of extended incubation with bacteria. Halamine-functionalized polymeric material also exhibited significant antibacterial activity against preformed biofilms on a model surface. In summary, our results demonstrate the potential of this antimicrobial material to provide continuous sanitation of surfaces and applications for inactivating preformed biofilms without extensive use of resources, including water and heat. This polymeric material may be used as a replacement for existing polymeric materials or as a coating on diverse materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00975-17
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2017


  • Antimicrobial polymers
  • Biofilm
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7
  • Halamines
  • Listeria innocua
  • Sanitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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