Electrospun Zein/PCL Fibrous Matrices Release Tetracycline in a Controlled Manner, Killing Staphylococcus aureus Both in Biofilms and Ex Vivo on Pig Skin, and are Compatible with Human Skin Cells

Nour Alhusein, Ian S. Blagbrough, Michael L. Beeton, Albert Bolhuis, Paul A. De Bank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the destruction of clinically-relevant bacteria within biofilms via the sustained release of the antibiotic tetracycline from zein-based electrospun polymeric fibrous matrices and to demonstrate the compatibility of such wound dressing matrices with human skin cells. Methods: Zein/PCL triple layered fibrous dressings with entrapped tetracycline were electrospun. The successful entrapment of tetracycline in these dressings was validated. The successful release of bioactive tetracycline, the destruction of preformed biofilms, and the viability of fibroblast (FEK4) cells were investigated. Results: The sustained release of tetracycline from these matrices led to the efficient destruction of preformed biofilms from Staphylococcus aureus MRSA252 in vitro, and of MRSA252 and ATCC 25923 bacteria in an ex vivo pig skin model using 1 × 1 cm square matrices containing tetracycline (30 μg). Human FEK4 cells grew normally in the presence of these matrices. Conclusions: The ability of the zein-based matrices to destroy bacteria within increasingly complex in vitro biofilm models was clearly established. An ex vivo pig skin assay showed that these matrices, with entrapped tetracycline, efficiently kill bacteria and this, combined with their compatibility with a human skin cell line suggest these matrices are well suited for applications in wound healing and infection control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-246
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number1
Early online date3 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


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