Bismuth Phosphinates in Bi-Nanocellulose Composites and their Efficacy towards Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria

Melissa V Werrett, Megan E Herdman, Rajini Brammananth, Uthpala Garusinghe, Warren Batchelor, Paul Crellin, Ross Coppel, Philip C. Andrews

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11 Citations (Scopus)


A series of poorly soluble phenyl bis-phosphinato bismuth(III) complexes [BiPh(OP(=O)R1R2)2] (R1=R2=Ph; R1=R2=p-OMePh; R1=R2=m-NO2Ph; R1=Ph, R2=H; R1=R2=Me) have been synthesised and characterised, and shown to have effective antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). The bismuth complexes were incorporated into microfibrillated (nano-) cellulose generating a bismuth-cellulose composite as paper sheets. Antibacterial evaluation indicates that the Bi-cellulose materials have analogous or greater activity against Gram positive bacteria when compared with commercial silver based additives: silver sulfadiazine loaded at 0.43wt% into nanocellulose produces a 10mm zone of inhibition on the surface of agar plates containing S. aureus whereas [BiPh(OP(=O)Ph2)2] loaded at 0.34wt% produces an 18mm zone of inhibition. These phenyl bis-phosphinato bismuth(III) complexes show potential to be applied in materials in healthcare facilities, to inhibit the growth of bacteria capable of causing serious disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12938-12949
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Antibacterial
  • Bismuth
  • Materials
  • Nanocellulose
  • Phosphinate

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