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Dynamics of Silver Nanoparticle Release from Wound Dressings Revealed via in situ Nanoscale Imaging



Richard D. Holbrook, Konrad Rykaczewski, Matthew E. Staymates


The use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in textiles for enhanced anti-microbial properties has led to concern about their subsequent release and impact on both human and environmental health. For the first time, we report on in-situ visualization of AgNP release from silver- impregnated wound dressings. By combining an environmental scanning electron microscope, a gaseous analytical detector and peltier cooling stage, this technique allows nanoscale characterization between individual water droplets and dressing fibers. Near-instantaneous AgNP release, transport and redeposition can be investigated simultaneously. Two dressings were evaluated for AgNP release dynamics and revealed very disparate AgNP behavior. Specifically, one dressing demonstrated substantial, rapid AgNP release when in contact with water droplets. This dressing surface was visibly modified by a single wetting/drying cycle, possibly through AgNP dissolution and subsequent redeposition/precipitation. By comparison, AgNP release from another dressing was either much slower or non-existent. Our methodology may be helpful in characterizing AgNP release on a much faster time-scale (seconds) than other characterization modalities currently allow. Such rapid analysis minimizes any modification to the dressing fibers as well as the released and redeposited AgNPs, and may be a useful screening tool for assessing NP release from various products. Furthermore, we demonstrate that mechanisms governing AgNP release from the fibers can be inferred from observed release dynamics. This can provide insight into how the wound dressing fabrication could be engineered to optimize AgNP release for different applications.
Journal of Materials Science Materials in Medicine


environmental scanning electron microscope, In-situ, nanoparticle release, silver, wetting, wound dressing


Holbrook, R. , Rykaczewski, K. and Staymates, M. (2014), Dynamics of Silver Nanoparticle Release from Wound Dressings Revealed via in situ Nanoscale Imaging, Journal of Materials Science Materials in Medicine, [online], (Accessed July 22, 2024)


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Created July 11, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017