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Br J Biomed Sci. 2004;61(3):125-7.

In vitro cytotoxicity testing of a nanocrystalline silver dressing (Acticoat) on cultured keratinocytes.

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Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong.


Acticoat is a polyethylene mesh coated with nanocrystalline silver. It has been used widely as a dressing for chronic wounds, acute partial-thickness burn wounds and donor sites. In this study, the in vitro cytotoxicity of Acticoat on cultured keratinocytes is tested. Human keratinocytes are cultivated on a pliable hyaluronate-derived membrane (Laserskin) using dermal fibroblasts as the feeder layer. When the cultured Laserskin (CLS) is subconfluent it is covered by Acticoat, which is exposed to water (Group 1), phosphate-buffered saline (Group 2) or culture medium (Group 3). The control group is not exposed to the Acticoat. After 30 minutes incubation at 37 degrees C, the inhibitory effect of the nanocrystalline silver on keratinocyte growth is measured by an MTT assay. Compared with the control, the relative viability of the CLS dropped to 0%, 0% and 9.3%, respectively. Thus, Acticoat is cytotoxic to cultured keratinocytes and should not be applied as a topical dressing on cultured skin grafts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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