Preparation and Investigation of Antimicrobial Alginate Wound Dressings

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In our everyday lives we come into intimate contact with surfaces covered with bacteria (i.e. doorknobs, desktops, children’s toys, etc.). Attachment of a polycationic species with proven bacteriocidal activity onto the target surface may render it antiseptic and therefore unable to transmit bacterial infections. Prior endeavors in our laboratory have been directed toward the preparation of antibacterial/antifungal porous surfaces (i.e. cotton cloth, wood, cork, silk and wool). These have resulted in the discovery and development of a general methodology for the synthesis of porous carbohydrate and protein-based surfaces that exhibit antibacterial and antifungal characteristics which are permanent (i.e. are not removed from the surface by physical means such as washing) and are continuing in their action (i.e. are not consumed by their action against bacteria and/or fungi). In the current proposal we continue to develop this technology toward applications such as wound dressings focusing on maximization of its action and toward control of a variety of organisms. Our work, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Wound Management Division, initially involved the modification of alginate wound dressings. During the course of the work we have since geared our efforts to the synthesis of a new type of antibacterial/antifungal surface based on chitosan. The newly synthesized material has been tested (in collaboration with a biologist, Dr. Karin Melkonian, LIU, C.W. Post) and it has proven to kill fungi and bacteria on contact. We continue our efforts towards developing this new chitosan material into a smooth surface so that it may be used as a wound dressing. This project has involved synthetic work as well as molecular identification and characterization techniques. Collaborative efforts play a major role in our new technology. Our organic team works with a biological team and a variety of private companies that are interested in using our technology. To date, we have licensed out a part of our technology for the use of fabrics (woven and non woven) and are working on yet another agreement with a cosmetic applicator company on manufacturing antibacterial/antifungal brushes, applicators, and wigs. We are continuing our work towards the production of antimicrobial wound dressings. It is our hope that our technology may aid a variety of people in a variety of ways.

Information about the Student Author

Class of 2005, Major: BioChemistry

Summary of Research Experience

The opportunities I have been granted through Pace University have made a significant impact on my career goal. In the Fall of 2005, I entered Yale University Graduate School in the Biomedical Sciences field of Pharmacology. I owe much of my success to Pace and my mentor, Dr. JamieLee Cohen. I am also appreciative of the Eugene Lang Research Grant that enabled me to have such a powerful learning experience.

Dissemination of Results

Our work with the antimicrobial wound dressings has been part of a 2-year contract with Johnson & Johnson, for which we have 3 patents pending. Due to the terms of our relationship with Johnson & Johnson, we are not able to present the work at this time. It is our hope to publish the work once the patents have been issued and license out the technology.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. JamieLee Cohen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

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