Cold Atmospheric Plasma-Activated Composite Hydrogel for an Enhanced and On-Demand Delivery of Antimicrobials

Nishtha Gaur, Bethany Lee Patenall, Bhagirath Ghimire, Naing Thet, Jordan Gardiner, Krystal Le Dore, Gordon Ramage, Bryn Short, Rachel Heylen, Craig Williams, Robert Short, Andrew Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


We present the concept of a versatile drug-loaded composite hydrogel that can be activated using an argon-based cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) jet to deliver both a drug and CAP-generated molecules, concomitantly, in a tissue target. To demonstrate this concept, we utilized the antibiotic gentamicin that is encapsulated in sodium polyacrylate (PAA) particles, which are dispersed within a poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) hydrogel matrix. The final product is a gentamicin-PAA-PVA composite hydrogel suitable for an on-demand triggered release using CAP. We show that by activating using CAP, we can effectively release gentamicin from the hydrogel and also eradicate the bacteria effectively, both in the planktonic state and within a biofilm. Besides gentamicin, we also successfully demonstrate the applicability of the CAP-activated composite hydrogel loaded with other antimicrobial agents such as cetrimide and silver. This concept of a composite hydrogel is potentially adaptable to a range of therapeutics (such as antimicrobials, anticancer agents, and nanoparticles) and activatable using any dielectric barrier discharge CAP device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19989-19996
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number16
Early online date11 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the UK EPSRC grant references EP/V00462X/1 and EP/R003939/1 and an EPSRC IAA award. B.L.P. would also like to thank the James Tudor Foundation for funding her research.


  • antimicrobial
  • biofilms
  • cold atmospheric plasma
  • composite hydrogels
  • drug delivery
  • gentamicin
  • plasma jet
  • reactive oxygen and nitrogen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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