Bacteria-Activated Dual pH-and Temperature-Responsive Hydrogel for Targeted Elimination of Infection and Improved Wound Healing

Hanif Haidari, Krasimir Vasilev, Allison J. Cowin, Zlatko Kopecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Antibacterial treatment that provides on-demand release of therapeutics that can kill a broad spectrum of pathogens while maintaining long-Term efficacy and without developing resistance or causing side effects is urgently required in clinical practice. Here, we demonstrate the development of a multistimuli-responsive hydrogel, prepared by cross-linking N-isopropylacrylamide with acrylic acid and loaded with ultrasmall silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), offering the on-demand release of Ag+ ions triggered by changes in the wound microenvironment. We demonstrate that this dual-responsive hydrogel is highly sensitive to a typical wound pH and temperature change, evidenced by the restricted release of Ag+ ions at acidic pH (<5.5) while significantly promoting the release in alkaline pH (>7.4) (>90% release). The pH-dependent release and antibacterial effect show minimal killing at pH 4 or 5.5 but dramatically activated at pH 7.4 and 10, eliminating >95% of the pathogens. The in vivo antibacterial efficacy and safety showed a high potency to clear Staphylococcus aureus wound infection while significantly accelerating the wound healing rate. This multifunctional hydrogel presents a promising bacteria-responsive delivery platform that serves as an on-demand carrier to not only reduce side effects but also significantly boost the antibacterial efficiency based on physiological needs. It offers great potential to improve the way wound infections are treated with direct clinical implications, providing a single platform for long-lasting application in wound management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51744–51762
Number of pages19
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number46
Early online date10 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2022


  • bacteria-responsive
  • dual-responsive release
  • multifunctional hydrogel
  • on-demand release
  • pH-responsive
  • pH-responsive silver release
  • triggered release
  • wound healing


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