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Infections are a dreaded threat that can have fatal consequences after an operation, in the treatment of wounds, and during tissue engineering. Biomimetic hydrogels with "built-in" antimicrobial properties can significantly decrease this danger. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, scientists have now introduced a gel that is activated by red light to produce reactive oxygen compounds that effectively kill bacteria and fungi.
Hydrogels are molecule networks that hold water within their grid. Antimicrobial hydrogels can be produced by mixing with or attaching antimicrobial components to a polymer gel. Researchers at the Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin (China), Radboud University, Nijmegen (the Netherlands), and the University of Queensland, Brisbane (Australia) chose an alternative route and used photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy as their model. In this technique, photosensitizers enter an excited state when irradiated with light. Through a non-radiative transition, the photosensitizer enters a different, long-lived excited state. The transition can transfer energy to oxygen molecules, forming highly reactive oxygen species that kill microbes.
Date - Gels - Activity - Products - Sources
To date, synthetic gels with photodynamic antimicrobial activity have been neither biocompatible nor biodegradable. Products from biological sources, in contrast, harbor the risk of contamination or immune reactions and deliver results that are difficult to reproduce. The team led by Chengfen Xing overcame this challenge by using fully...
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