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J Med Microbiol. 2014 Feb;63(Pt 2):203-9. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.067322-0. Epub 2013 Nov 6.

Antimicrobial efficacy and wound-healing property of a topical ointment containing nitric-oxide-loaded zeolites.

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Zeomedix Inc., Exton, PA, USA.


Topical delivery of nitric oxide (NO) through a wound dressing has the potential to reduce wound infections and improve healing of acute and chronic wounds. This study characterized the antibacterial efficacy of an ointment containing NO-loaded, zinc-exchanged zeolite A that releases NO upon contact with water. The release rate of NO from the ointment was measured using a chemiluminescence detection system. Minimum bactericidal concentration assays were performed using five common wound pathogens, including Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Acinetobacter baumannii), Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus epidermidis and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and a fungus (Candida albicans). The time dependence of antimicrobial activity was characterized by performing log-reduction assays at four time points after 1-8 h ointment exposure. The cytotoxicity of the ointment after 24 h was assessed using cultured 3T3 fibroblast cells. Minimum microbicidal concentrations (MMCs) for bacterial organisms (5×10(7) c.f.u.) ranged from 50 to 100 mg ointment (ml media)(-1); the MMC for C. albicans (5×10(4) c.f.u.) was 50 mg ointment (ml media)(-1). Five to eight log reductions in bacterial viability and three log reductions in fungal viability were observed after 8 h exposure to NO-zeolite ointment compared with untreated organisms. Fibroblasts remained viable after 24 h exposure to the same concentration of NO-zeolite ointment as was used in antimicrobial tests. In parallel studies, full-thickness cutaneous wounds on Zucker obese rats healed faster than wounds treated with a control ointment. These data indicate that ointment containing NO-loaded zeolites could potentially be used as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial wound-healing dressing.

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