On-demand release of silver from composite hydrogel by cold atmospheric plasma jet for wound infection control

Naing Tun Thet, Bethany L. Patenall, Robert D. Short, A. Toby A. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Silver is an antimicrobial commonly used within wound care chiefly in advanced dressings or in a topical cream form, such as silver sulfadiazine (SSD). Although silver is effective at controlling the growth of many common wound bacteria, it can be cytotoxic and can build up in tissue, stalling the healing process. Here, we demonstrate the development of an on-demand release system for delivery of silver from a composite hydrogel comprising sodium polyacrylate particles dispersed in a cryo-crosslinked polyvinyl alcohol carrier gel. Application of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) jet to the silver loaded hydrogel resulted in controlled release of silver. This release is thought to occur due to the formation of nitrous acids in the hydrogel by the CAP, resulting in protonation of carboxylate groups in the hydrogel and subsequent gel de-swelling due to the reduction in interchain charge repulsion. The location of silver within the sodium polyacrylate particles was probed using scanning electron microscopy and EDX imaging. The released silver inhibited the growth of Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus and significantly reduced the viable cell count of the P. aeruginosa biofilm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number211902
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number21
Early online date20 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2024

Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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