A Dissolving Wound Dressing to Fight Deadly Infections

wound-dressingSeventy percent of all people with severe burns die from related infections. Now a new wound-dressing technology from Tel Aviv University could cut that figure dramatically.

Prof. Meital Zilberman of TAU`s Department of Biomedical Engineering has developed new soluble fibers that can be used to deliver infection-fighting antibiotics, then dissolve when the job is done. Now in clinical trials on animal models, Prof. Zilberman`s new material can help avoid the constant wound cleaning and redressing that leads to infection, allowing the human body to do the work on its own.

New gentamicin-eluting bioresorbable core/shell fiber structures were developed and studied. These structures were composed of a polyglyconate core and a porous poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PDLGA) shell loaded with the antibiotic agent gentamicin, prepared using freeze drying of inverted emulsions. These unique fibers are designed to be used as basic elements of bioresorbable burn and ulcer dressings. The investigation focused on the effects of the emulsion’s composition (formulation) on the shell’s microstructure, on the drug release profile from the fibers, and on bacterial inhibition. The release profiles generally exhibited an initial burst effect accompanied by a decrease in release rates with time. Albumin was found to be the most effective surfactant for stabilizing the inverted emulsions. All three formulation parameters had a significant effect on gentamicin’s release profile. An increase in the polymer and organic:aqueous phase ratio or a decrease in the drug content resulted in a lower burst release and a more moderate release profile.

The released gentamicin also resulted in a significant decrease in bacterial viability and practically no bacteria survived after 2 days when using bacterial concentrations of 1 × 10^7 CFU/mL. Thus, our new fiber structures are effective against the relevant bacterial strains and can be used as basic elements of bioresorbable drug-eluting wound dressings.