Biocompatible Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Microhydrogels Promote Bacterial Adherence and Eradication in Vitro and in Vivo

Lee Schnaider, Zenon Toprakcioglu, Assaf Ezra, Xizhou Liu, Darya Bychenko, Aviad Levin, Ehud Gazit, Tuomas P.J. Knowles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Self-assembling peptides and proteins have the potential to serve as multifunctional building blocks for the generation of versatile materials for a wide range of biomedical applications. In particular, supramolecular hydrogels comprised of self-assembled protein nanofibrils, have been used in contexts ranging from tissue engineering to drug delivery. Due to the rapid emergence of multidrug resistant bacteria, development of biomaterials with intrinsic antimicrobial properties has been continuously increasing. Here, we describe hybrid organic/inorganic nanofibrillar silk microgels decorated with silver nanoparticles that display potent antimicrobial activity in vitro and in vivo and are able to adhere bacterial cells to their surfaces while subsequently eradicating them, through a two-step mechanism of action. Importantly, in contrast to treatments involving conventional silver, these silk-silver microgels are nonhemolytic and noncytotoxic toward mammalian cell lines. Finally, we show that these hybrid microgels display substantial efficacy as topical antimicrobial agents in a murine model of surgical site infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1590-1597
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Antibacterial materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Microhydrogels
  • Organic/inorganic interfaces
  • Regenerated silk fibroin
  • Self-assembly

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