Processing and Characterization of Antibacterial Hydrogel Sheet Dressings Composed of Poly(vinyl alcohol) and Silk Fibroin for Wound Healing Application

Pimpon UTTAYARAT, Rattanakorn CHIANGNOON, Jarurattana EAMSIRI, Wongwit SENAWONGSE


Hydrogels are soft materials that contain high water content within their 3-dimensional structure. Such extremely hydrated environment allows hydrogels to recapitulate the structure of many native tissues inside the body. In biomedical application, hydrogels have been extensively used as biocompatible materials, drug delivery systems, and tissue-engineered scaffolds that can be designed to possess either permanent or slow-degradation properties. In this research, we applied gamma irradiation to develop transparent and conformal hydrogel sheets with sufficient mechanical strength from poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and further modified the based PVA matrix with naturally-derived silk fibroin (SF) protein and silver nitrate (AgNO3) for wound healing purpose. The physical and mechanical properties of based PVA hydrogels formed at varied irradiation doses from 10 - 80 kGy were first characterized. The dose of 60 kGy was found to be optimal to process flexible and elastic PVA sheets with equilibrium degree of swelling of 1000 %, gel fraction of 90 %, and tensile strength of 19 kPa. To further enhance water absorption capacity, 10 - 40 % (w/w) silk fibroin was added to the based PVA matrix. Based on water absorption and gel fraction data, hydrogel sheets with 8PVA:2SF formulation was selected for antibacterial test. Disc diffusion assay showed that the incorporation of 0.4 mM AgNO3 in 8PVA:2SF hydrogel sheets could inhibit the growth of Staphyllococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These results demonstrated that a prototypic, antibacterial hydrogel sheet dressing composed of both synthetic and natural polymers could be developed within a single-step by gamma irradiation technique.


Hydrogel sheet dressing, PVA, silk fibroin, gamma irradiation, silver nitrate

Full Text:



JM Rosiak and P Ulański. Synthesis of hydrogels by irradiation of polymers in aqueous solution. Radiat. Phys. Chem. 1999; 55, 139-51.

YC Nho and KR Park. Preparation and properties of PVA/PVP hydrogels containing chitosan by radiation. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2002; 86, 1787-94.

BJ Dekosky, NH Dormer, GC Ingavle, CH Roatch, J Lomakin, MS Detamore and SH Gehrke. Hierarchically designed agarose and poly(ethylene glycol) interpenetrating network hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering. Tissue Eng. Part C 2010; 16, 1533-42.

NE Fedorovich, MH Oudshoorn, DV Geemen, WE Hennink, J Alblas and WJA Dhert. The effect of photopolymerization on stem cells embedded in hydrogels. Biomaterials 2009; 30, 344-53.

GD Nicodemus and SJ Bryant. Cell encapsulation in biodegradable hydrogels for tissue engineering applications. Tissue Eng. Part B 2008; 14, 149-65.

M Şen and EN Avci. Radiation synthesis of poly(N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone)-κ-carrageenan hydrogels and their use in wound dressing applications. I. Preliminary laboratory tests. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. Part A 2005; 74, 187-96.

F Yoshii, Y Zhanshan, K Isobe, K Shinozaki and K Makuuchi. Electron beam crosslinked PEO and PEO/PVA hydrogels for wound dressing. Radiat. Phys. Chem. 1999; 55, 133-8.

M Zhai, F Yoshii, T Kume and K Hashim. Syntheses of PVA/starch grafted hydrogels by irradiation. Carbohydr. Polym. 2002; 50, 295-303.

M Haji-Saeid, A Safrany, MHO Sampab and N Ramamoorthy. Radiation processing of natural polymers: The IAEA contribution. Radiat. Phys. Chem. 2010; 79, 255-60.

JM Rosiak and F Yoshii. Hydrogels and their medical applications. Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. Sect. B 1999; 151, 56-64.

K Swaroop, S Francis and HM Somashekarappa. Gamma irradiation synthesis of Ag/PVA hydrogels and its antibacterial activity. Mater. Today Proc. 2016; 3, 1792-8.

MR Reneque, AR Rodriguez and CP Covas. Hydrogel wound dressing preparation at laboratory scale by using electron beam and gamma radiation. Nucleus 2013; 53, 24-31.

K Hashim, KHZM Dahlan, K Bahari, F Yoshii and T Kume. Development of sago starch hydrogel for wound dressing. In: Proceedings of the Takasaki Symposium on Radiation Processing of Natural Polymers. Gunma, Japan, 2001, p. 66-74.

P Uttayarat, K Boonsirichai, T Tangthong, P Pimton, S Thongbopit and T Phermthai. Photopolymerization of hydrogels for cartilage tissue engineering. In: Proceedings of the 8th Biomedical Engineering International Conference 2015. Pattaya, Thailand, 2015, p. 15-7.

P Uttayarat, K Boonsirichai, J Eamsiri, S Chookaew, P Pimton, P Charoonrut, P Songprakhon, P Pokathikorn, S Thongbopit, T Phermthai and S Julavijitphong. Evaluation of photopolymerizable hydrogel/stem cell constructs in vivo for cartilage tissue engineering. In: Proceedings of the 9th Biomedical Engineering International Conference 2016. Laung Prabang, Laos, 2016, p. 3-6.

MH Kim and WH Park. Chemically cross-linked silk fibroin hydrogel with enhanced elastic properties, biodegradability, and biocompatibility. Int. J. Nanomed. 2016; 29, 67-78.

JM Lee, T Sultan, SH Kim, V Kumar, YK Yeon, OJ Lee and C Park. Artificial auricular cartilage using silk fibroin and polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017; 18, 1707.

K Makuuchi and S Cheng. Radiation Processing of Polymer Materials and Its Industrial Applications. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, 2012.

JM Rosiak, I Janik, S Kadlubowski, M Kozicki, P Kujawa and PU Stasica. Radiation Synthesis and Modification of Polymers for Biomedical Applications. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 2002.

KR Park and YC Nho. Synthesis of PVA/PVP hydrogels having two-layer by radiation and their physical properties. Radiat. Phys. Chem. 2003; 67, 361-5.

S Benamer, M Mahlous, A Boukrif, B Mansouri and SL Youcef. Synthesis and characterisation of hydrogels based on poly(vinyl pyrrolidone). Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. Sect. B 2006; 248, 284-90.

L Zhao, H Mitomo, M Zhai, F Yoshii, N Nagasawa and T Kume. Synthesis of antibacterial PVA/CM- chitosan blend hydrogels with electron beam irradiation. Carbohydr. Polym. 2003; 53, 439-46.

C Tranquilan-Aranilla, F Yoshii, AMD Rosa and K Makuuchi. Kappa-carrageenan-polyethylene oxide hydrogel blends prepared by gamma irradiation. Radiat. Phys. Chem. 1999; 55, 127-31.

EA Kamoun, X Chen, MSM Eldin and ERS Kenawy. Crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogels for wound dressing applications: A review of remarkably blended polymers. Arab. J. Chem. 2015; 8, 1-14.

M Wang, L Xu, H Hu, M Zhai, J Peng, Y Nho, J Li and G Wei. Radiation synthesis of PVP/CMC hydrogels as wound dressing. Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. Sect. B 2007; 265, 385-9.

P Intavisade and B Oonkhanond. A study of irradiated silk fibroin-poly vinyl alcohol hydrogel for artificial skin substitutes. J. Met. Mater. Miner. 2010; 20, 119-22.

MH Kim, BS Kim, J Lee, D Cho, OH Kwon and WH Park. Silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite composite hydrogel induced by gamma-ray irradiation for bone tissue engineering. Biomater. Res. 2017; 21, 12.

L Varshney. Role of natural polysaccharides in radiation formation of PVA-hydrogel wound dressing. Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. Sect B 2007; 255, 343-9.

GH Altman, F Diaz, C Jakuba, T Calabro, RL Horan, J Chen, H Lu, J Richmond and DL Kaplan. Silk-based biomaterials. Biomaterials 2003; 24, 401-16.

B Kundu, R Rajkhowa, SC Kundu and X Wang. Silk fibroin biomaterials for tissue regenerations. Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 2013; 65, 457-70.

A Sugihara, K Sugiura, H Morita, T Ninagawa, K Tubouchi, R Tobe, M Izumiya, T Horio, NG Abraham and S Ikehara. Promotive effects of a silk film on epidermal recovery from full-thickness skin wounds. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 2000; 225, 58-64.

H Kweon, J Yeo, K Lee, HC Lee, HS Na, YH Won and CS Cho. Semi-interpenetrating polymer networks composed of silk fibroin and poly(ethylene glycol) for wound dressing. Biomed. Mater. 2008; 3, 34115-5.

DH Roh, SY Kang, JY Kim, YB Kwon, HY Kweon, KG Lee, YH Park, RM Baek, CY Heo, J Choe and JH Lee. Wound healing effect of silk fibroin/alginate-blended sponge in full thickness skin defect of rat. J. Mater. Sci. Mater. Med. 2006; 17, 547-52.

A Vasconcelos, AC Gomes and A Cavaco-Paulo. Novel silk fibroin/elastin wound dressings. Acta Biomater. 2012; 8, 3049-60.

L Soffer, X Wang, X Zhang, J Kluge, L Dorfmann, DL Kaplan and G Leisk. Silk-based electrospun tubular scaffolds for tissue-engineered vascular grafts. J. Biomater. Sci. Polym. Ed. 2009; 19, 653-64.

E Wenk, AJ Wandrey, HP Merkle and L Meinel. Silk fibroin spheres as a platform for controlled drug delivery. J. Control Release 2008; 132, 26-34.

L Uebersax, M Mattotti, M Papaloïzos, HP Merkle, B Gander and L Meinel. Silk fibroin matrices for the controlled release of nerve growth factor (NGF). Biomaterials 2007; 28, 4449-60.

P Uttayarat, J Eamsiri, T Tangthong and P Suwanmala. Radiolytic synthesis of colloidal silver nanoparticles for antibacterial wound dressings. Adv. Mater. Sci. Eng. 2015; 2015, 376082.

P Uttayarat, S Jetawattana, P Suwanmala, J Eamsiri, T Tangthong and S Pongpat. Antimicrobial electrospun silk fibroin mats with silver nanoparticles for wound dressing application. Fibers Polym. 2012; 13, 999-1006.

M Kumar, L Varshney and S Francis. Radiolytic formation of Ag clusters in aqueous polyvinyl alcohol solution and hydrogel matrix. Radiat. Phys. Chem. 2005; 73, 21-7.

I Sondi and B Salopek-Sondi. Silver nanoparticles as antimicrobial agent: A case study on E. coli as a model for Gram-negative bacteria. J. Colloid Interf. Sci. 2004; 275, 177-82.

R Li, J Chen, TC Cesario, X Wang, JS Yuan and PM Rentzepis. Synergistic reaction of silver nitrate, silver nanoparticles, and methylene blue against bacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2016; 113, 13612-7.

B Boonkaew, M Kempf, R Kimble, P Supaphol and L Cuttle. Antimicrobial efficacy of a novel silver hydrogel dressing compared to two common silver burn wound dressings: ActicoatTM and PolyMem Silver®. Burns 2014; 40, 89-96.

D Parsons, PG Bowler, V Myles and S Jones. Silver antimicrobial dressings in wound management: A comparison of antibacterial, physical, and chemical characteristics. Wounds 2005; 17, 222-32.

Z Ajji, I Othman and JM Rosiak. Production of hydrogel wound dressings using gamma radiation. Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. Sect. B 2005; 229, 375-80.

MT Razzak, D Darwis, Zainuddin and Sukirno. Irradiation of polyvinyl alcohol and polyvinyl pyrrolidone blended hydrogel for wound dressing. Radiat. Phys. Chem. 2001; 62, 107-13.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Online ISSN: 2228-835X

Last updated: 17 May 2019