Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2019, vol 536pp. 372-380
A smart antibacterial biomaterial based on a keratin hydrogel with pH-dependent behavior and Zinc Oxide nanoplates as biocide agent has been developed. The pH of a chronic wound is basic due to bacterial metabolism. Originally shrank at acid pH, keratin hydrogels swell upon contact with a bacterial contaminated media leading to the release of the nanoparticles. The material has been thoroughly characterized by infrared spectroscopy, Raman, scanning electron microscope, swelling behavior, Differential scanning calorimetry, Small-angle X-ray scattering, rheology, antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity. The results show that 5% of Zinc Oxide nanoparticles concentration is the optimum for wound dressing applications.