UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Antibacterial Thermosensitive Silver–Hydrogel Nanocomposite Improves Wound Healing Amiri, Nafise; Ghaffari, Sahand; Hassanpour, Ida; Chae, Taesik; Jalili, Reza; Kilani, Ruhangiz Taghi; Ko, Frank K.; Ghahary, Azi; Lange, Dirk (Microbiologist)


Bacterial infection and poor cell recruitment are among the main factors that prolong wound healing. To address this, a strategy is required that can prevent infection while promoting tissue repair. Here, we have created a silver nanoparticle-based hydrogel composite that is antibacterial and provides nutrients for cell growth, while filling cavities of various geometries in wounds that are difficult to reach with other dressings. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were synthesized by chemical reduction and characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). Using varying concentrations of AgNPs (200, 400, and 600 ppm), several collagen-based silver–hydrogel nanocomposite candidates were generated. The impact of these candidates on wound healing was assessed in a rat splinted wound model, while their ability to prevent wound infection from a contaminated surface was assessed using a rat subcutaneous infection model. Biocompatibility was assessed using the standard MTT assay and in vivo histological analyses. Synthesized AgNPs were spherical and stable, and while hydrogel alone did not have any antibacterial effect, AgNP–hydrogel composites showed significant antibacterial activity both in vitro and in vivo. Wound healing was found to be accelerated with AgNP–hydrogel composite treatment, and no negative effects were observed compared to the control group. The formulations were non-cytotoxic and did not differ significantly in hematological and biochemical factors from the control group in the in vivo study. By presenting promising antibacterial and wound healing activities, silver–hydrogel nanocomposite offers a safe therapeutic option that can be used as a functional scaffold for an acceleration of wound healing.

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