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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #228320

Title: Efficacy of silver (I) antimicrobial dressings

item Parikh, Dharnidhar
item Edwards, Judson - Vince
item Condon, Brian
item De Lucca Ii, Anthony

Submitted to: Nonwovens and Technical Textiles
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2009
Publication Date: 4/22/2009
Citation: Parikh, D.V., Edwards, J.V., Condon, B.D., De Lucca II, A.J., Parikh, A. 2009. Efficacy of silver (I) antimicrobial dressings. Nonwovens and Technical Textiles. 2(2):22-25, 32.

Interpretive Summary: A half million people receive medical attention for burn injuries each year in the United States of America. Burn and chronic wounds are highly susceptible to infection. Silver has long been known to have antimicrobial properties and has been extensively used in treating burn wounds. The factors that contribute to wound complications are both the size and depth of the wound burn. Burn depth is usually categorized into first degree (superficial, involving only the epidermis), second degree (partial thickness, involving both epidermis and dermis), third degree (full thickness, through epidermis, dermis, and into fat), and fourth degree (damage extends through muscle and bone). Antimicrobial dressings of silver-alginates and silver-sodium-carboxymethylated cotton have been developed at SRRC. The antimicrobial effects of these dressings are evaluated to be effective against both gram positive and gram negative organisms. These dressings may offer a therapeutic advantage over the presently available dressings.

Technical Abstract: Burn wounds, particularly those due to third and fourth degree burns, are highly susceptible to infection and scar formation. These complications can be reduced if bacterial growth is inhibited and there is a moist wound environment that promotes healing. Silver has long been known to have antimicrobial properties and has been used extensively in treating burn wounds. Using a cation exchange method, carboxymethylated cotton printcloth and commercially available alginate dressings were impregnated with silver to test their antibacterial properties. These silver alginate dressings have high absorption of saline solution ranging from 12 to 20 g/g. In vitro data shows approximately 99.5% reduction in both gram positive (Staphylococcous aureus) and gram negative (Klebsiella pneumoniae) bacterial growth, suggesting that such dressings containing silver may protect the wound surfaces from microbial invasion and effectively suppress bacterial multiplication. Results suggest that the functionality of currently available alginate wound dressings could be expanded by imparting the antimicrobial properties of silver to these dressings.