Non-cytotoxic silver nanoparticles-polyvinyl alcohol hydrogels with anti-biofilm activity: Designed as coatings for endotracheal tube materials

Endotracheal intubation is commonly associated with hospital-acquired infections as the intubation device acts as reservoir for bacterial colonization in lungs. To reduce the incidence of bacterial colonization on the tubes, hydrogel coatings loaded with antimicrobial agents are gaining popularity. The aim of this study is to incorporate silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) into polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) to form stable hydrogels. Embedding AgNPs into PVA resulted in a decreased elongation at break and an increased tensile strength compared to PVA alone. Ag release profile varied as a function of the degree of hydrolysis of PVA: the higher degree of hydrolysis demonstrated a lower release rate. Fourier infrared transform spectroscopy demonstrated that AgNPs interacted exclusively with the –OH groups of PVA. AgNPs loaded PVA were non-toxic against human normal bronchial epithelial cells while effective against the attachment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus with a greater effect on P. aeruginosa.