pH-Responsive “Smart” Hydrogel for Controlled Delivery of Silver Nanoparticles to Infected Wounds

Hanif Haidari, Zlatko Kopecki, Adam T. Sutton, Sanjay Garg, Allison J. Cowin, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Persistent wound infections have been a therapeutic challenge for a long time. Current treatment approaches are mostly based on the delivery of antibiotics, but these are not effective for all infections. Here, we report the development of a sensitive pH-responsive hydrogel that can provide controlled, pH-triggered release of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). This delivery system was designed to sense the environmental pH and trigger the release of AgNPs when the pH changes from acidic to alkaline, as occurs due to the presence of pathogenic bacteria in the wound. Our results show that the prepared hydrogel restricts the release of AgNPs at acidic pH (pH = 4) but substantially amplifies it at alkaline pH (pH = 7.4 and pH = 10). This indicates the potential use of the hydrogel for the on-demand release of Ag+ depending on the environmental pH. In vitro antibacterial studies demonstrated effective elimination of both Gram-negative and positive bacteria. Additionally, the effective antibacterial dose of Ag+ showed no toxicity towards mammalian skin cells. Collectively, this pH-responsive hydrogel presents potential as a promising new material for the treatment of infected wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibacterial hydrogel
  • Controlled delivery
  • Hydrogel
  • Methacrylic acid hydrogel
  • On-demand release
  • PH-responsive
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Wound infection


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