MOSCOW, Dec. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The research team from NUST MISIS together with colleagues from the Czech Republic and Novosibirsk has presented nanostructured copper-coated wound dressings capable of rapidly releasing copper ions in a liquid medium. This material has good prospects for wound dressing due to an interesting synergistic effect: on the one hand, the rapid release of copper ions kills bacteria, and on the other hand, it stimulates tissue regeneration with the activation of immune cells. The results of the project have been published in the Membranes international scientific journal.
The antibacterial properties of copper have been known since ancient times. At present, copper-coated nanofibrous materials are desirable for catalysis, electrochemistry, sensing and biomedicine. The biomedical use of copper-coated nanofibers is especially popular because it effectively accelerates wound healing, can filter bacteria and viruses, and regenerate bone tissue.
The advantage of using the structure of nanofibers instead of other forms of nano- or micromaterials also lies in their high surface-to-volume ratio, and the ability to make sheets or foils from such materials without any size restrictions, which is important in the production process.
However, obtaining copper-coated nanofibers is a rather difficult task that requires many chemical steps, and therefore significant financial and organizational costs.
An international team of scientists from NUST MISIS, NIIKEL - a branch of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of SB RAS - and CEITEC BUT for the first time managed to apply copper to heat-sensitive polymer fibers by magnetron sputtering.
"In this paper, we have shown a simple, reliable and scalable method for producing copper-coated nanofibers based on magnetron sputtering of copper onto the FDA-approved biodegradable polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers. Thermosensitive polymer nanofibers have never been tested as a substrate for copper deposition by magnetron sputtering. The main problem was to apply a well-adhered metal coating to the surface of the PCL membrane with a high copper content without destroying the nanofiber structure of the base," said Elizaveta Permyakova, co-author of the study, a researcher at the NUST MISIS Inorganic Nanomaterials Laboratory.
According to the authors, they were the first to carry out large-scale modeling of PCL films irradiation by molecular dynamics simulation, which allowed them to predict the ions' penetration depth and tune the deposition conditions to the desired parameters.
The resulting nanofibers have been tested as antibacterial agents for various gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. As shown by the laboratory experiments, the rapid release of copper ions in a liquid medium (concentration up to 3.4 μg / ml) led to significant suppression of E. coli and S. aureus colonies.
Moreover, copper ions are necessary for the bacteriostatic action of the cells of the immune system. Reactive polymer coatings plasma-deposited on the surface of copper nanofibers can be used as an accelerating "substrate" of viable proteins, peptides, or drugs.
Copper-coated nanofibers will become an excellent antibacterial and probiotic wound dressing material due to an interesting synergistic effect: on the one hand, the rapid release of copper ions kills bacteria, and on the other hand, it stimulates regeneration with the activation of immune cells.
SOURCE The National University of Science and Technology MISiS