Interaction of poly(hexamethylene biguanide hydrochloride) (PHMB), which is a polymeric biocide bearing biguanide groups in its main chain, with phospholipid bilayers was studied by the fluorescence depolarization method. A strong interaction of PHMB with negatively charged bilayers composed of phosphatidylglycerol(PG) alone or of PG and phosphatidylcholine (PC) was observed, whereas neutral PC bilayers were not affected. On adding PHMB, the fluorescence polarization of diphenylhexatriene embedded in the negatively charged bilayers was reduced to a great extent, especially in the gel phase. This was interpreted in terms of PHMB-induced expansion and fluidization of the bilayer, which enables the probe molecule to undergo less-hindered torsional motion. Similarity between PHMB and polymyxin B in the structure, the mode of action against bacteria and the interaction with lipid membranes is discussed.