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In vitro and in vivo evaluation of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles for topical applications: effect of surface coating and loading into hydrogels

Authors Mekkawy AI, El-Mokhtar MA, Nafady NA, Yousef N, Hamad MA, El-Shanawany SM, Ibrahim EH, Elsabahy M

Received 10 October 2016

Accepted for publication 22 November 2016

Published 23 January 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 759—777

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S124294

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lakshmi Kiran Chelluri

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J Webster


Aml I Mekkawy,1 Mohamed A El-Mokhtar,2 Nivien A Nafady,3 Naeima Yousef,3 Mostafa A Hamad,4 Sohair M El-Shanawany,5 Ehsan H Ibrahim,5 Mahmoud Elsabahy5–8

1Department of Pharmaceutics and Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Sohag University, Sohag, 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, 3Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, 4Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, 5Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, 6Assiut International Center of Nanomedicine, Al-Rajhi Liver Hospital, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; 7Laboratory for Synthetic-Biologic Interactions, Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA; 8Misr University for Science and Technology, 6th of October, Egypt

Abstract: In the present study, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were synthesized via biological reduction of silver nitrate using extract of the fungus Fusarium verticillioides (green chemistry principle). The synthesized nanoparticles were spherical and homogenous in size. AgNPs were coated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD). The averaged diameters of AgNPs were 19.2±3.6, 13±4, 14±4.4, and 15.7±4.8 nm, for PEG-, SDS-, and ß-CD-coated and uncoated AgNPs, respectively. PEG-coated AgNPs showed greater stability as indicated by a decreased sedimentation rate of particles in their water dispersions. The antibacterial activities of different AgNPs dispersions were investigated against Gram-positive bacteria (methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) by determination of the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs). MIC and MBC values were in the range of 0.93–7.5 and 3.75–15 µg/mL, respectively, which were superior to the reported values in literature. AgNPs-loaded hydrogels were prepared from the coated-AgNPs dispersions using several gelling agents (sodium carboxymethyl cellulose [Na CMC], sodium alginate, hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose, Pluronic F-127, and chitosan). The prepared formulations were evaluated for their viscosity, spreadability, in vitro drug release, and antibacterial activity, and the combined effect of the type of surface coating and the polymers utilized to form the gel was studied. The in vivo wound-healing activity and antibacterial efficacy of Na CMC hydrogel loaded with PEG-coated AgNPs in comparison to the commercially available silver sulfadiazine cream (Dermazin®) were evaluated. Superior antibacterial activity and wound-healing capability, with normal skin appearance and hair growth, were demonstrated for the hydrogel formulations, as compared to the silver sulfadiazine cream. Histological examination of the treated skin was performed using light microscopy, whereas the location of AgNPs in the skin epidermal layers was visualized using transmission electron microscopy.

Keywords: silver nanoparticles, green synthesis, coating agents, hydrogel, wound healing, antibacterial activity

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