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Reduced Graphene-Oxide-Embedded Polymeric Nanofiber Mats: An “On-Demand” Photothermally Triggered Antibiotic Release Platform

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journal contribution
posted on 30.10.2018 by Ismail Altinbasak, Roxana Jijie, Alexandre Barras, Bianka Golba, Rana Sanyal, Julie Bouckaert, Djamel Drider, Rostyslav Bilyy, Tetiana Dumych, Solomiya Paryzhak, Volodymyr Vovk, Rabah Boukherroub, Amitav Sanyal, Sabine Szunerits
The steady increase of antimicrobial resistance of different pathogens requires the development of alternative treatment strategies next to the oral delivery of antibiotics. A photothermally activated platform based on reduced graphene oxide (rGO)-embedded polymeric nanofiber mats for on-demand release of antibiotics upon irradiation in the near-infrared is fabricated. Cross-linked hydrophilic nanofibers, obtained by electrospinning a mixture of poly­(acrylic acid) (PAA) and rGO, show excellent stability in aqueous media. Importantly, these PAA@ rGO nanofiber mats exhibit controlled photothermal heating upon irradiation at 980 nm. Nanofiber mats are efficiently loaded with antibiotics through simple immersion into corresponding antibiotics solutions. Whereas passive diffusion based release at room temperature is extremely low, photothermal activation results in increased release within few minutes, with release rates tunable through power density of the applied irradiation. The large difference over passive and active release, as well as the controlled turn-on of release allow regulation of the dosage of the antibiotics, as evidenced by the inhibition of planktonic bacteria growth. Treatment of superficial skin infections with the antibiotic-loaded nanofiber mats shows efficient wound healing of the infected site. Facile fabrication and implementation of these photothermally active nanofiber mats makes this novel platform adaptable for on-demand delivery of various therapeutic agents.