We have developed a multifunctional hydrogel that can carry three synergistic antibiotics commonly used in clinical practice. This hydrogel was discovered to have drug encapsulation efficiencies of 94% for neomycin, 97% for bacitracin, and 88% for polymyxin B. Drug release data indicated that the release profiles of these three antibiotics were different. A swelling test demonstrated that the hydrogel absorbed liquid after the release of its antibiotics until it became saturated, which occurred within 48 h. Moreover, this hydrogel exhibited excellent antibacterial effects against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and biocompatibility; it can thus protect a wound from microbial invasion. When the alginate hydrogel is used to cover a wound, the wound can be checked for colonization at any time using ultrasound imaging; this can thus enable the prevention of wound biofilm formation in the early stages of infection. We evaluated the hydrogel against commercially available wound dressings and discovered that these wound dressings did not have the aforementioned desirable features. In conclusion, our multifunctional hydrogel can carry three types of antibiotics simultaneously and is a suitable medium through which an ultrasound can be performed to detect the growth of colonies in wounds. The hydrogel is expected to make a valuable contribution to the prevention of wound infections in the future.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)