On-demand Antimicrobial Treatment with Antibiotic-Loaded Porous Silicon Capped with a pH-Responsive Dual Plasma Polymer Barrier

Roshan B. Vasani, Endre J. Szili, Gayathri Rajeev, Nicolas H. Voelcker

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic wounds are a major socio-economic problem. Bacterial infections in such wounds are a major contributor to lack of wound healing. An early indicator of wound infection is an increase in pH of the wound fluid. Herein, we describe the development of a pH-responsive drug delivery device that can potentially be used for wound decontamination in situ and on-demand in response to an increase in the pH of the wound environment. The device is based on a porous silicon film that provides a reservoir for encapsulation of an antibiotic within the pores. Loaded porous silicon is capped with dual plasma polymer layers of poly(1,7-octadiene) and poly(acrylic acid), which provide a pH-responsive barrier for on-demand release of the antibiotic. We demonstrate that release of the antibiotic is inhibited in aqueous buffer at pH 5, whereas the drug is released in a sustainable manner at pH 8. Importantly, the released drug was bacteriostatic against the Pseudomonas aeruginosa wound pathogen. In the future, incorporation of the delivery device into wound dressings could potentially be utilized for non-invasive decontamination of wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1614
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry - An Asian Journal
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017


  • drug delivery
  • plasma chemistry
  • plasma polymerization
  • porous silicon
  • stimulus-responsive polymers

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