St Gallen, Switzerland – Scientists at EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have developed a cellulose membrane for wound dressings to prevent infections and antimicrobial resistance. The membranes rely on polyurethane to give them sufficient flexibility and stability.
The team from the Biointerfaces lab led by Katharina Maniura made fine membranes from cellulose via electrospinning technology, with polyurethane added into the mix to confer flexibility and stability. These fibres, less than 1µm in diameter, were then spun into a delicate, multi-layered, fabric.
The membranes were then treated with a solution of antimicrobial peptides, which saturated the fibre scaffold. Lab studies shows that they were well-tolerated by human skin cells, and killed more than 99.99% of bacteria in test cultures.
The team speculate that the structures could also have other therapeutic potential. ‘The peptides might, for instance, be functionalised with binding sites that enable the controlled release of further therapeutic substances,’ Maniura said.
The work has been published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.