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MDPI, Pharmaceutics, 2(15), p. 429, 2023

DOI: 10.3390/pharmaceutics15020429



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Encapsulation of SAAP-148 in Octenyl Succinic Anhydride-Modified Hyaluronic Acid Nanogels for Treatment of Skin Wound Infections

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Chronic wound infections colonized by bacteria are becoming more difficult to treat with current antibiotics due to the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as well as biofilm and persister cell formation. Synthetic antibacterial and antibiofilm peptide (SAAP)-148 is an excellent alternative for treatment of such infections but suffers from limitations related to its cationic peptidic nature and thus instability and possible cytotoxicity, resulting in a narrow therapeutic window. Here, we evaluated SAAP-148 encapsulation in nanogels composed of octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA)-modified hyaluronic acid (HA) to circumvent these limitations. SAAP-148 was efficiently (>98%) encapsulated with high drug loading (23%), resulting in monodispersed anionic OSA-HA nanogels with sizes ranging 204–253 nm. Nanogel lyophilization in presence of polyvinyl alcohol maintained their sizes and morphology. SAAP-148 was sustainedly released from lyophilized nanogels (37–41% in 72 h) upon reconstitution. Lyophilized SAAP-148-loaded nanogels showed similar antimicrobial activity as SAAP-148 against planktonic and biofilm-residing AMR Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii. Importantly, formulated SAAP-148 showed reduced cytotoxicity against human erythrocytes, primary human skin fibroblasts and human keratinocytes. Additionally, lyophilized SAAP-148-loaded nanogels eradicated AMR S. aureus and A. baumannii colonizing a 3D human epidermal model, without inducing any cytotoxicity in contrast to SAAP-148. These findings indicate that OSA-HA nanogels increase SAAP-148′s therapeutic potential for treatment of skin wound infections.