Delivery and activity of antimicrobial drugs released from human fibrin sealant

S. T. Boyce, I. A. Holder, A. P. Supp, G. D. Warden, David G Greenhalgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Engraftment and healing of native or cultured skin grafts depend on adherence, vascularization, and control of microbial contamination in the wound bed. Fibrin sealant is a biocompatible polymer that may be used to promote skin engraftment by serving as a delivery vehicle for antimicrobial drugs. Human fibrin sealant (25 mg/ml) was polymerized with antibacterial agents (mupirocin [32 μg/ml], nitrofurazone [0.02% wt/vol], polymyxin B [400 U/ml], or norfloxacin [20 μg/ml]) on nitrocellulose (nc) backing and was prepared as 6 mm diameter discs with skin punches. Discs (n = 6) were applied in the Wet Disc Assay to clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus (mupirocin, nitrofurazone) or Pseudomonas aeruginosa (polymyxin B, norfloxacin). Controls included drug applied to 6 mm paper discs (25 μl) and nitrocellulose discs submerged in each drug, blotted, and applied to bacterial cultures on agar in petri dishes. Data were expressed as zone of clearing (mm diameter ± SEM) after overnight incubation at 35°C. Significant differences (ANOVA and Tukey's test, p < 0.05) were found for each drug released from the disc of fibrin sealant compared with other vehicles. Release from filter paper discs compared with nitrocellulose was significant for nitrofurazone and norfloxacin. Serial transfer of fibrin discs to fresh bacterial cultures after 24 hours showed no zones of clearing. The data show that fibrin sealant releases topical drugs with no inhibition of antimicrobial activity on burn organisms. Greater zones of clearing from fibrin sealant may result from passive fluid retention or from active binding to fibrin followed by protease digestion by burn organisms. These results suggest that fibrin sealant can act locally for short-term delivery of antimicrobial agents to wounds that may reduce destruction of cultured or native skin grafts by microbial contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-255
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Professions(all)


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