Antimicrobial peptides, commonly used today as food preservatives, show potential for development into the next generation of antibiotics, where traditional antibiotics have become ineffectual. This study introduces a highly tailorable injectable hydrogel that could protect and deliver these food preservatives to a site of infection such as a surgical site, topical wound or internal infection.

The published study was added to the Top 50 Authors of 2020 in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B.  The scientific illustration created for the paper was featured on the back cover of the journal Issue 18, 2020

The paper was authored by James Flynn, Dr Edel Durack, Dr Maurice Collins and Dr Sarah Hudson.!divAbstract

The paper’s conclusion reads as follows;

The incorporation of glycol chitosan into an injectable polysaccharide gel allows for modulation of the gels swelling and mechanical properties without sacrifice of physiologically appropriate conditions for an encapsulated antimicrobial peptide.

In previous investigations, the mechanical strength of hydrogels has beenmodulated throughmeans of varying ionic concentrations, rendering the gels unsuitable for sensitive biologics. By introducing

GC into these gels the mechanical strength of the gels was increased through varying GC concentrations. The incorporation of glycol chitosan also does not affect the biocompatibility, and it has been found to act synergistically with nisin in the inhibition of the growth

of S. aureus. This study introduces a highly tuneable platform for the encapsulation and subsequent release of the AMP nisin for at least 10 days. Further development and in vivo testing will help

define, develop, and utilise this system for a range of different clinical applications such as anti-biofilm coatings, coating for medical devices, controlled release delivery depots and for other AMP’s.