Injectable bioadhesive hydrogels with innate antibacterial properties

Michael C. Giano, Zuhaib Ibrahim, Scott H. Medina, Karim A. Sarhane, Joani M. Christensen, Yuji Yamada, Gerald Brandacher, Joel P. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

264 Scopus citations


Surgical site infections cause significant postoperative morbidity and increased healthcare costs. Bioadhesives used to fill surgical voids and support wound healing are typically devoid of antibacterial activity. Here we report novel syringe-injectable bioadhesive hydrogels with inherent antibacterial properties prepared from mixing polydextran aldehyde and branched polyethylenimine. These adhesives kill both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, while sparing human erythrocytes. An optimal composition of 2.5 wt% oxidized dextran and 6.9 wt% polyethylenimine sets within seconds forming a mechanically rigid (∼\n1,700 Pa) gel offering a maximum adhesive stress of ∼\n2.8 kPa. A murine infection model showed that the adhesive is capable of killing Streptococcus pyogenes introduced subcutaneously at the bioadhesive's surface, with minimal inflammatory response. The adhesive was also effective in a cecal ligation and puncture model, preventing sepsis and significantly improving survival. These bioadhesives represent novel, inherently antibacterial materials for wound-filling applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4095
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jun 24 2014


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