Octenidine dihydrochloride

Octenidine dihydrochloride has two positively charged (cation) active centres in its molecule separated by a long aliphatic hydrocarbon chain (ten CH2 groups). It binds readily to the negatively charged bacterial cell envelope, consequently disrupting the vital functions of the cell membrane and killing the cell. Data by Goroncy-Bermes (1998) show that the amount of the net negative charge of bacterial cell walls has an impact on the antimicrobial activity of cationic substances but does not prevent its penetration through the peptidoglycan layers or the damage to the cell membrane as demonstrated with octenidine. Octenidine dihydrochloride is used in wound cleansing solutions and gels at concentrations of 0.1% antiseptic. Solutions help to cleanse and loosen encrusted dressings when ready for changing. Water-based solutions also contain surfactant-like molecules such as ethylhexylglycerin which reduce the surface tension of the solution, enhancing its wetting behaviour.

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