Tuning the strength and swelling of an injectable polysaccharide hydrogel and the subsequent release of a broad spectrum bacteriocin, nisin A†
Bacteriocins, which are antimicrobial peptides, are a potential alternative to current ineffective antimicrobial therapies. They can inhibit the growth of clinically relevant pathogens but their proteinaceous nature renders them susceptible to degradation and deactivation in vivo. We have designed injectable polysaccharide hydrogels for the controlled release of an incorporated bacteriocin, nisin. Nisin was encapsulated into these hydrogels which were composed of varying percentages of oxidised dextran, alginate functionalised with hydrazine groups and glycol chitosan. The nisin gels exhibited antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus up to 10 days. The incorporation of a deacetylated chitosan and the reduction of alginate-hydrazine could be used to tune the gel's swelling behaviour, strength and the subsequent release profile of nisin. Glycol chitosan also shows synergistic inhibition of S. aureus with nisin.