May, 2022 - By SMI
Scientists are developing polymer fiber that can soften when the surrounding heat increases due to infection and that can release antimicrobial dugs
Treating injuries efficiently would become easy with the use of bandages that can release medication as a wound starts getting infected. A team of researchers at Empa are working on developing a polymer fibers that can soften when the surrounding heat increases due to infection and then it can release antimicrobial drugs. The team created an experimental bandage that can dispense medication as soon as it detects the heat of an infection.
Using antibiotics for treating wounds can cause unwanted side effects, however, overuse of these antibiotics can develop resistance in bacteria against the antibiotic. To create more effective alternative, the scientists developed new material. This material includes a fine membrane of nanofibers that are made from a polymer PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) blend and a biocompatible polymer known as Eudragit. Then the team encapsulated an antiseptic called octenidine dihydrochloride in these fibers. When the wound surface is in the range of normal skin temperature that is 32 to 34˚C, the blend of polymer remains solid and keeps the medications inside. When the wound surface temperature increases to 37˚C due to infection related inflammation the polymer becomes soft and releases the octenidine into the infection.
When the infection is treated and the temperature of the wound lowers down, the polymer becomes firm again and retains the leftover anticeptic. Thus, the dressing can perform at least five deployments of separate octenidine before the whole medication payload is over. The team working on reducing the temperature increase which is needed for activating the material. Moreover, the team is exploring using different medications such as other antibiotics.
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