Dynamics of silver nanoparticle release from wound dressings revealed via in situ nanoscale imaging

R. David Holbrook, Konrad Rykaczewski, Matthew E. Staymates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in textiles for enhanced anti-microbial properties has led to concern about their release and impact on both human and environmental health. Here a novel method for in situ visualization of AgNP release from silver-impregnated wound dressings is introduced. By combining an environmental scanning electron microscope, a gaseous analytical detector and a peltier cooling stage, this technique provides near-instantaneous nanoscale characterization of interactions between individual water droplets and AgNPs. We show that dressings with different silver application methods have very distinct AgNP release dynamics. Specifically, water condensation on dressings with AgNP deposited directly on the fiber surface resulted in substantial and rapid AgNP release. By comparison, AgNP release from wound dressing with nanoparticles grown, not deposited, from the fiber surface was either much slower or negligible. Our methodology complements standard bulk techniques for studying of silver release from fabrics by providing dynamic nanoscale information about mechanisms governing AgNP release from individual fibers. Thus coupling these nano and macro-scale methods can provide insight into how the wound dressing fabrication could be engineered to optimize AgNP release for different applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2481-2489
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 16 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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