Polymer nanocomposites (NCs) are hypothesised to have enhanced barrier properties compared with pristine polymer, allowing more sustained drug release from the materials. In these NC systems active agents are typically incorporated into the polymer matrix and the release kinetics are theoretically perturbed by well dispersed nanoparticle inclusions. An alternative approach is to exploit active agent interactions with the nanoinclusion. In the proposed NC system, the driving hypothesis is that active agents can have dual functionality, acting as both drug and dispersant. Polyurethane-montmorillonite (PEU-MMT) NCs were prepared in which the antimicrobial agent chlorhexidine diacetate (CHX) was evaluated as an organic modifier for silicate dispersion. CHX was incorporated at various concentrations through organic modification of MMT or within the bulk polymer. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy analysis suggested that intercalated and partially exfoliated NCs were achieved, with better dispersion occurring in the presence of free CHX within the bulk. Tensile testing results showed that variations in the level of organic modification and nanoparticle loading modulated the mechanical properties. Material stiffness increased with nanoparticle loading relative to pristine PEU, and the ultimate properties decreased with nanoparticle and free CHX incorporation. Antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis was significant in materials with higher exchanged MMT and NCs containing free CHX, for which 2-log reductions in adherent bacteria were found after 24h. CHX was successfully used to modulate the material properties in its dual role as a dispersant and antimicrobial agent, suggesting that alternative biocides of similar structure may behave comparably within PEU-MMT NC systems.