Polyaminopropyl biguanide

Polyaminopropyl biguanide (PAPB) is a disinfectant and a preservative used for disinfection on skin and in cleaning solutions for contact lenses.[citation needed] It is also an ingredient in many deodorant bodysprays.[citation needed] It is a polymer or oligomer where biguanide functional groups are connected by propyl hydrocarbon chains. PAPB is specifically bactericidal at very low concentrations (10 mg/l) and is also fungicidal.[citation needed]

Polyaminopropyl biguanide
Polyaminopropyl biguanide.svg
Other names
Abbreviations PAPB
  • none
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Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Biocidal activityEdit

It has a unique method of action: the polymer strands are incorporated into the bacterial cell membrane, which disrupts the membrane and reduces its permeability, which has a lethal effect to bacteria. It is also known to bind to bacterial DNA, alter its transcription, and cause lethal DNA damage.[1]


PAPB solutions are sold for use as a general disinfectant solution to be applied onto skin. As it is not cytotoxic, it can be applied directly into wounds.[2] It is also not irritating like more traditional disinfectants such as alcohols (ethanol, isopropanol) and oxidizers (iodine).

Contact lens solutionEdit

A contact lens solution containing polyaminopropyl biguanide in combination with a borate buffer has been patented.[3] The solution is disinfecting and preservative and has a broad spectrum of bactericidal and fungicidal activity at low concentrations coupled with very low toxicity when used with soft-type contact lenses.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Allen; White, GF; Morby, AP; et al. (2006). "The response of Escherichia coli to exposure to the biocide polyhexamethylene biguanide". Microbiology. 152 (4): 989–1000. doi:10.1099/mic.0.28643-0. PMID 16549663.
  2. ^ Gerit D. Mulder, Joseph P. Cavorsi and Daniel K. Lee (2007). "Polyhexamethylene Biguanide (PHMB): An Addendum to Current Topical Antimicrobials". Wounds. 19 (7): 173–182. PMID 26110333.
  3. ^ Ogunbiyi et al. US 4758595 
  4. ^ Josefa Velasco, Javier Bermudez (1996). "Comparative study of the microbial flora on contact lenses, in lens cases, and in maintenance liquids". Contact Lens and Anterior Eye. 23 (2): 55–58. doi:10.1016/0892-8967(96)00004-1.