The impact of topical antimicrobial agents on improving the survival of patients with major thermal injuries is significant. However, the effects of these agents on cells responsible for wound healing has only recently received attention. Fresh human basal keratinocytes were grown in serum-free modified MCDB 153 medium under standard tissue culture conditions. Cells were subsequently exposed to concentrations of silver sulfadiazine and mafenide acetate as low as 1 100 of that used clinically over a period of 5-7 days. Cellular responses documented with hemocytometer cells counts, cellular protein assays, phase-contrast microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy show only severe toxicity to mafenide acetate. Such data imply that inhibition of wound epithelialization is greater with the use of mafenide acetate than with the use of silver sulfadiazine.
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