A silver sulfadiazine-impregnated poly-L-leucine wound dressing, AgSD-medicated wound dressing, was evaluated for antibacterial capacity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and cytotoxicity to human fibroblasts and human epidermal keratinocytes. This wound dressing contained 0.4 mg AgSD/cm2. Antibacterial capacity was examined on experimentally infected wound surfaces (3.4 x 10(4) P. aeruginosa organisms/gm) on the dorsum of mice. The AgSD-medicated wound dressing showed effective bacterial control. Cytotoxicity was examined on a monolayer of cells formed in culture dishes. Cellular damage was reduced by the controlled release of AgSD from the hydrophobic poly-L-leucine sponge matrix of the AgSD-medicated wound dressing. Cytotoxicity of the AgSD-medicated wound dressing was much lower than that of 1% AgSD cream.