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The properties of an activated carbon-containing agarose film for the amelioration of 2-amino acetophenone malodour as produced in chronic wounds infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Malodorous chronic wounds are associated with significant patient morbidity and can be responsible for patient social isolation and depression. A new material with favourable physical properties for easy application to difficult-to-dress bodily surfaces was tested for its ability to reduce the human detection of malodorous 2-aminoacetophenone (2-AAP), the dominant odour associated with chronic ulcers infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The material consisted of activated carbon (AC) particles held within a plasticised agarose (PA) film. This material, PA-AC, was relatively thin and could be folded and cut to shape without appreciable loss of the AC particulates. In a study using human volunteers, the intensity of 2-AAP odour was (strongly) significantly lower for the PA-AC material when compared with controls. Additionally, mechanical studies indicated that the presence of AC did not alter the maximum load, extension at maximum load, or percentage elongation of the PA films, with no statistically significant difference between PA-AC and PA. Supplementation of the agarose films (with or without AC) with carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) enabled fluid handling to be increased by 176 and 163%, respectively. PA-AC, PA and PA-AC-CMC, PA-CMC allowed water vapour transmission at a rate previously reported to promote wound healing, while preventing tissue maceration caused by excessive sweat retention. A range of agarose films with variable odour and fluid handling properties are envisaged for further development towards wound management applications.

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The mechanical and fluid handling tests were performed by BG Healthcare (CH1 1SL, UK), using samples made and supplied by the University of Brighton.


This work has received funding from the Interreg 2 Seas programme 2014-2020 co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under subsidy contract number DERMA 2SO1-02.

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Correspondence to Jacqueline Rachel Forss.

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The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose. The authors have no competing interests to declare that are relevant to the content of this article. All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript. The authors have no financial or proprietary interests in any material discussed in this article.

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Ethical approval for odour sampling with human volunteers was obtained via the University of Brighton Cross School Research Ethics Committee (CREC).

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Forss, J.R., Tolhurst, B.A., Bowyer, C.J. et al. The properties of an activated carbon-containing agarose film for the amelioration of 2-amino acetophenone malodour as produced in chronic wounds infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J Mater Sci 57, 16460–16470 (2022).

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