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Acta Biomater. 2018 Jun;73:190-203. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.02.028. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Electrofabrication of functional materials: Chloramine-based antimicrobial film for infectious wound treatment.

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Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, The State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China. Electronic address:
Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, The State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China.
Key Laboratory of Flexible Electronics (KLOFE) and Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Jiangsu, National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM), Nanjing Tech University (NanjingTech), Nanjing 210009, China.
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Shanghai Children's Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 1678 Dongfang Road, Shanghai 200127, China.
Institute for Biosystems and Biotechnology Research and Fischell Department of Bioengineering, 5115 Plant Sciences Building, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


Electrical signals can be imposed with exquisite spatiotemporal control and provide exciting opportunities to create structure and confer function. Here, we report the use of electrical signals to program the fabrication of a chloramine wound dressing with high antimicrobial activity. This method involves two electrofabrication steps: (i) a cathodic electrodeposition of an aminopolysaccharide chitosan triggered by a localized region of high pH; and (ii) an anodic chlorination of the deposited film in the presence of chloride. This electrofabrication process is completed within several minutes and the chlorinated chitosan can be peeled from the electrode to yield a free-standing film. The presence of active NCl species in this electrofabricated film was confirmed with chlorination occurring first on the amine groups and then on the amide groups when large anodic charges were used. Electrofabrication is quantitatively controllable as the cathodic input controls film growth during deposition and the anodic input controls film chlorination. In vitro studies demonstrate that the chlorinated chitosan film has antimicrobial activities that depend on the chlorination degree. In vivo studies with a MRSA infected wound healing model indicate that the chlorinated chitosan film inhibited bacterial growth, induced less inflammation, developed reorganized epithelial and dermis structures, and thus promoted wound healing compared to a bare wound or wound treated with unmodified chitosan. These results demonstrate the fabrication of advanced functional materials (i.e., antimicrobial wound dressings) using controllable electrical signals to both organize structure through non-covalent interactions (i.e., induce chitosan's reversible self-assembly) and to initiate function-conferring covalent modifications (i.e., generate chloramine bonds). Potentially, electrofabrication may provide a simple, low cost and sustainable alternative for materials fabrication.


We believe this work is novel because this is the first report (to our knowledge) that electronic signals enable the fabrication of advanced antimicrobial dressings with controlled structure and biological performance. We believe this work is significant because electrofabrication enables rapid, controllable and sustainable materials construction with reduced adverse environmental impacts while generating high performance materials for healthcare applications. More specifically, we report an electrofbrication of antimicrobial film that can promote wound healing.


Antimicrobial; Chitosan; Chloramine; Electrofabrication; Wound dressing

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