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Smart Wound Dressings

We are building a smart wound dressing that releases silver to treat multidrug resistant bacteria in the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS)—ROS concentrations are increased in wounds and infections via neutrophils and macrophages. This controlled release of silver will increase the therapeutic efficacy and decrease off-site toxicity because silver dose will be correlated to the site and extent of infection. We have reported a nanoparticle system whereby silver is coated on top of an underlying gold nanoparticle substrate. The gold stabilizes the silver and prevents release until oxidation by ROS. More importantly, silver release can be measured using photoacoustic imaging. This approach will selectively treat multi-drug resistant bacteria and quantitate the dose as shown in our preliminary data (ACS Nano, 2018) where we reported a 99.9% reduction in bacterial counts in both MRSA and E. Coli infection using this hybrid gold/silver system. Future work will extend these findings into a wound dressing.


ACS Nano 2018, 12 (6), 5615-5625. [Link]