2020 journal article
Nanosilver composite pNIPAm microgels for the development of antimicrobial platelet-like particles
JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL MATERIALS RESEARCH PART B-APPLIED BIOMATERIALS, 108(6), 2599–2609.
Platelets crucially facilitate wound healing but can become depleted in traumatic injury or chronic wounds. Previously, our group developed injectable platelet-like particles (PLPs) comprised of highly deformable, ultralow crosslinked pNIPAm microgels (ULCs) coupled to fibrin binding antibodies to treat post-trauma bleeding. PLP fibrin-binding facilitates homing to sites of injury, promotes clot formation, and, due to high particle deformability, induces clot retraction. Clot retraction augments healing by increasing clot stability, enhancing clot stiffness, and promoting cell migration into the wound bed. Because post-traumatic healing is often complicated by infection, the objective of these studies was to develop antimicrobial nanosilver microgel composite PLPs to augment hemostasis, fight infection, and promote healing post-trauma. A key goal was to maintain particle deformability following silver incorporation to preserve PLP-mediated clot retraction. Clot retraction, antimicrobial activity, hemostasis after trauma, and healing after injury were evaluated via confocal microscopy, colony-forming unit assays, a murine liver trauma model, and a murine full-thickness injury model in the absence or presence of infection, respectively. We found that nanosilver incorporation does not affect base PLP performance while bestowing significant antimicrobial activity and enhancing infected wound healing outcomes. Therefore, Ag-PLPs have great promise for treating hemorrhage and improving healing following trauma.