Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Qian, Xianghong

Committee Member/Reader

Quinn, Kyle


Poly(ionic liquids), or PILs, have been shown to have a number of biological applications as ligands, drug delivery vehicles, and nonviral DNA delivery mechanisms. Additionally, PILs have been proven to be efficient antibacterials. Imidazolium-containing PILs have promising results in antibacterial studies, but relating to their chain and charge density, only the effects of mono- & bis-imidazolium PILs have been sufficiently described in literature. The work detailed in this thesis aimed to further existing research on the effect of chain density by controlling the UV-initiator immobilization time. The effects of chain density were investigated by grafting poly(vinylimidazolium chloride) onto SiO2 glass substrates with varying initiator immobilization times. Substrates were tested against Escherichia coli (E. coli) for 24 h. The total reduction was quantified using a viable cell count. Results showed up to a 67.8% reduction in viable E. coli with one 120 min UV-initiator immobilization time sample. The average percent viable reduction among all conditions was determined to be statistically different by standard error compared to the control (52.3 ± 6.1 % vs. 0.0 ± 7.3 %, respectively). However, there was no general trend, increasing or decreasing, relating to UV initiator immobilization time on antibacterial performance. Possible reasons for this were the volume of bacteria tested with each substrate, time of incubation, or UV-initiator quality. More research is needed to accurately determine whether UV-initiator immobilization times, attributing to chain density, have a significant effect on antibacterial performance.