Quaternized Chitosan Derivatives as Viable Antiviral Agents: Structure–Activity Correlations and Mechanisms of Action

Arun Teotia, Isabella Lauren, Sedigheh Borandeh, Jukka Seppälä*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Cationic polysaccharides have demonstrated significant antimicrobial properties and have great potential in medical applications, where the antiviral activity is of great interest. As of today, alcohols and oxidizing agents are commonly used as antiviral disinfectants. However, these compounds are not environmentally safe, have short activity periods, and may cause health issues. Therefore, this study aimed to develop metal-free and environmentally friendly quaternary chitosans (QCs) with excellent long-lasting virucidal activity. To evaluate this, both single and double QCs were obtained using AETMAC ([2-(acryloyloxy)ethyl]-trimethylammonium chloride) and GTMAC (glycidyl trimethylammonium chloride) quaternary precursors. Further, this study investigated the influence of the quaternary functional group, charge density, and molecular weight (Mw) on the antiviral properties of QCs. It is proposed that the higher charge density, along with the length of alkyl linkers, and hydrophobic interactions affected the antiviral activity of QCs. The findings demonstrated that heterogeneously functionalized chitosan exhibited excellent antiviral activity against both the enveloped virus φ6 and the nonenveloped viruses φX174 and MS2. These quaternized chitosan derivatives have promising potential as viable antiviral agents, as hand/surface sanitizers, or in other biomedical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18707–18719
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number15
Early online date4 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • chitosan
  • double quaternization
  • virucidal
  • antimicrobial
  • eco-friendly


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