In the U.S. there are more than 40,000 hospitalizations annually related to burn injury, with more than 75% of these admissions to the 127 U.S burn centers resulting in more than $10 billion in healthcare costs. Burn wounds may become infected through patient self infection from their own normal flora or by nosocomial infection between healthcare provider or facility and the patient. To prevent and/or treat these infections topical antimicrobial agents are applied at the wound site. The most commonly applied topical treatments are based on the release of silver ions through a compound (e.g., silver sulfadiazine) or dressing. Although silver can act as a potent antimicrobial, depending on the delivery vector cytotoxicity may result in leukopenia and impeded wound healing through inhibition of epithelial regeneration. Therefore a new broad spectrum antimicrobial topical material is proposed. The overall objective of this research effort is to demonstrate a new potent, broad spectrum, biocompatible, and biodegradable antimicrobial material for treating burn wound infections. Achievement of the following aims will demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed topical antimicrobial - (1) demonstrate release of antimicrobial agent from a full biocompatible and biodegradable substrate;(2) demonstrate broad spectrum antimicrobial function against multiple burn wound-related pathogenic microorganisms in vitro and in vivo;(3) demonstrate potential safety of material through in vitro cytotoxicity screening;and (4) benchmark antimicrobial function against commercially available topical treatments. In the Phase II follow on effort antimicrobial formulation will be optimized, dispensing mechanism will be refined and in vivo experimentation will be expanded. The final product is expected to be an easy-to- use and easy-to-apply topical gel.
Burn wounds are subject to infection from wide range of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The most common course of treatments involve the use of topical antimicrobial agents, which suffer from unwanted side effects which can extend the healing and recovery times. The overall objective of this research effort is to demonstrate a new potent, broad spectrum, biocompatible, and biodegradable antimicrobial material for treating burn wound infections.