With the world population rapidly ageing, there will be a large number of elderly patients who are immunocompromised and more susceptible to infections, many times stemming from surgical site, burn, chronic wound, catheter insertion site or contact lens infections, among others. We have developed a novel, one-step crosslinking method to make durable, non-leaching antimicrobial coatings that can be applied to all types of surfaces.
The methodology allows incorporation of antimicrobial metal ions, cationic antiseptic polymers and antibiotics without loss of antimicrobial properties. This enables the antimicrobial coating to cover a much broader range of infectious agents. The first application we developed using this novel coating technology is an antimicrobial wound dressing, which contains cationic polymers with potent antimicrobial properties and also promotes cell migration and proliferation.
The active antimicrobial components possess anti-inflammatory properties thus reducing the adverse effects of pathogens to the tissues. The rapid fluid uptake and non-adherent properties of the dressings decrease the nursing time and may be more cost-effective as well. This application is currently in an advanced preclinical testing phase.
Our technology is applicable to be used in:
Overall, there is a wide range of medical and non-medical applications that we envisioned for this platform technology.
This antimicrobial coating confers a number of beneficial multifunctional characteristics to the prepared nanofibers when compared to pristine polymer scaffolds. These include:
The methodology can also be expanded to produce mineralized nanofibers with more superior osteoconductive properties than pristine collagen. By precipitating metal ions with inherent antimicrobial properties or antibiotics which also interacts with gelatine, the methodology confers greater durability and long-term antimicrobial properties. High molecular weight cationic polymers or antimicrobial peptides can be incorporated without loss of their antimicrobial / antiseptic properties. Direct electrospinning on a bandage gauze averts several difficulties in terms of handling associated with current wound dressing technologies.