A versatile plasmonic thermogel for disinfection of antimicrobial resistant bacteria

Biomaterials. 2016 Aug;97:154-63. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2016.04.009. Epub 2016 Apr 22.


The increasing occurrence of antimicrobial resistance among bacteria is a global problem that requires the development of alternative techniques to eradicate these superbugs. Herein, we used a combination of thermosensitive biocompatible polymer and gold nanorods to specifically deliver, preserve and confine heat to the area of interest. Our data demonstrates that this technique can be used to kill both Gram positive and Gram negative antimicrobial resistant bacteria in vitro. Our approach significantly reduces the antimicrobial resistant bacteria load in experimentally infected wounds by 98% without harming the surrounding tissues. More importantly, this polymer-nanocomposite can be prepared easily and applied to the wounds, can generate heat using a hand-held laser device, is safe for the operator, and does not have any adverse effects on the wound tissue and healing process.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistant bacteria; Gold nanorods; Photothermal; Thermogel; Wound infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Caprolactam / chemistry
  • Disinfection*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / drug effects*
  • Gels / chemistry*
  • Hyperthermia, Induced
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microbial Viability / drug effects
  • Nanotubes / chemistry
  • Phototherapy
  • Rats
  • Temperature*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Gels
  • Caprolactam
  • capron