Silver-doped calcium silicate sol-gel glasses with a cotton-wool-like structure for wound healing

Qun Ju, Takuya Zenji, Anthony LB Maçon, Elizabeth Norris, Gowsihan Poologasundarampillai, Akiko Obata, Julian R Jones, Toshihiro Kasuga

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Skin has excellent capacity to regenerate, however, in the event of a large injury or burn skin grafts are required to aid wound healing. The regenerative capacity further declines with increasing age and can be further exacerbated with bacterial infection leading to a chronic wound. Engineered skin substitutes can be used to provide a temporary template for the damaged tissue, to prevent/combat bacterial infection and promote healing. In this study, the sol-gel process and electrospinning were combined to fabricate 3D cotton-wool-like sol-gel bioactive glass fibers that mimic the fibrous architecture of skin extracellular matrix (ECM) and deliver metal ions for antibacterial (silver) and therapeutic (calcium and silica species) actions for successful healing of wounds. This study investigated the effects of synthesis and process parameters, in particular sintering temperature on the fiber morphology, the incorporation and distribution of silver and the degradation rate of fibers. Silver nitrate was found to decompose into silver nanoparticles within the glass fibers upon calcination. Furthermore, with increasing calcination temperature the nanoparticles increased in size from 3 nm at 600 °C to ~25 nm at 800 °C. The antibacterial ability of the Ag-doped glass fibers decreased as a function of the glass calcination temperature. The degradation products from the Ag-doped 3D non-woven sol-gel glass fibers were also found to promote fibroblast proliferation thus demonstrating their potential for use in skin regeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112561
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering
Early online date24 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2021


  • Antibacterial property
  • Bioactive glass
  • Cotton-wool-like structure
  • Electrospinning
  • Wound healing


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