Gum Acacia/Carbopol-Based ‎Biocomposites Loaded with Silver ‎Nnanoparticles as Potential Wound ‎Dressings

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 ‎Department of Polymer Technology, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South ‎Africa.‎

2 Department of Chemistry, University of Fort Hare, Alice Campus, Alice, South Africa.‎

3 Department of Chemistry, University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, KwaZulu-Natal, South ‎Africa.‎

4 Department of Polymer Technology, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South ‎Africa.‎

5 Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Faculty of Science, University of ‎Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa.‎

6 Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein Campus, ‎Johannesburg, South Africa.‎

7 DST/CSIR National Centre for Nanostructured Materials, Council for Scientific and ‎Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa.‎

Abstract

   Wounds infected with bacteria are treated using wound dressings loaded with antibiotics. However, the use of antibiotics has resulted in drug resistance. In order to overcome drug resistance common with most of the currently used antibiotics, several researchers have evaluated the potential of metal-based nanoparticles as antimicrobial agents.  In this research, smart materials with good antibacterial activity were developed as potential wound dressings from a combination of bio- and synthetic polymers (gum acacia and carbopol, respectively) followed by loading with silver nanoparticles. The biocomposites were pH-sensitive with good water uptake. The hydrogels exhibited a high degree of swelling which increased with increase in pH. Their swelling capability was significant at pH of 7.4 simulating wound exudates. Their physicochemical properties were studied by FTIR, XRD, SEM and AFM. Furthermore, their antibacterial activity was significant against Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains of bacteria used in the study. The significant features of the biocomposites revealed their potential application as smart materials for the treatment of bacteria-infected and high exuding wounds.

Keywords