Cationic phenylene ethynylene polymers and oligomers exhibit efficient antiviral activity

Ying Wang, Taylor D. Canady, Zhijun Zhou, Yanli Tang, Dominique N. Price, David G. Bear, Eva Y. Chi, Kirk S. Schanze, David G. Whitten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The antiviral activities of poly(phenylene ethynylene) (PPE)-based cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPE) and oligo-phenylene ethynylenes (OPE) were investigated using two model viruses, the T4 and MS2 bacteriophages. Under UV/visible light irradiation, significant antiviral activity was observed for all of the CPEs and OPEs; without irradiation, most of these compounds exhibited high inactivation activity against the MS2 phage and moderate inactivation ability against the T4 phage. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) reveal that the CPEs and OPEs exert their antiviral activity by partial disassembly of the phage particle structure in the dark and photochemical damage of the phage capsid protein under UV/visible light irradiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2209-2214
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 27 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • MS2 phage
  • T4 phage
  • antiviral
  • cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes
  • cationic oligo-phenylene ethynylenes
  • photoinduced antimicrobial activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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