Novel nano-composite hydrogels with honey effective against multi-resistant clinical strains of Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

  • Jasmina Stojkovska
  • Predrag Petrovic
  • Ivan Jancic
  • Marina T. Milenkovic
  • Bojana ObradovicEmail author
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Novel alginate hydrogels with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and honey components were produced with the aim to target multidrug-resistant bacterial strains causing nosocomial wound infections. AgNP synthesis was optimized in highly concentrated honey solutions so that a 5-month stable, colloid solution with 50% of honey and ~ 8 nm AgNPs at neutral pH was obtained. The colloid solution was further used to produce nano-composite Ag/alginate hydrogels in different forms (microbeads, microfibers and discs) that retained all AgNPs and high fractions of honey components (40–60%) as determined by the phenol–sulfuric acid and Folin-Ciocalteu methods. The hydrogels were characterized by UV–Vis spectroscopy and Fourier-transform infrared-attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy while the antibacterial activity was investigated against a broad spectrum of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including 13 multi-resistant clinical strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, one clinical strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and one clinical strain of Staphylococcus aureus. At the total released silver concentration of ~ 9 μg/ml, the hydrogels exhibited strong bactericidal activity against standard and most of the investigated multi-resistant hospital strains with the exemption of 3 clinical strains of A. baumannii in which antibacterial effects were absent. These results reveal the need for further in-depth studies of bacterial resistance mechanisms and, in the same time, potentials of the novel Ag/alginate hydrogels with honey components to combat wound infections and enhance healing as non-sticky, antibacterial, and bioactive dressings.


Honey Silver nanoparticles Nano-composite hydrogels Multi-resistance Antibacterial activity 



This work was funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Grant III 45019).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2019_10055_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (265 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 264 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Technology and MetallurgyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Innovation Center of the Faculty of Technology and MetallurgyBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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