Wound healing occurs by a series of interrelated molecular events which work together to restore tissue integrity and cellular function. These physiological events occur smoothly in normal healthy individual and/or under normal conditions. However, in certain cases, these molecular events are retarded resulting in hard-to-heal or chronic wounds arising from several factors such as poor venous return, underlying physiological or metabolic conditions such as diabetes as well as external factors such as poor nutrition. In most cases, such wounds are infected and infection also presents as another complicating phenomenon which triggers inflammatory reactions, therefore delaying wound healing. There has therefore been recent interests and significant efforts in preventing and actively treating wound infections by directly targeting infection causative agents through direct application of antimicrobial agents either alone or loaded into dressings (medicated). These have the advantage of overcoming challenges such as poor circulation in diabetic and leg ulcers when administered systemically and also require lower amounts to be applied compared to that required via oral or iv administration. This chapter will review and evaluate various antimicrobial agents used to target infected wounds, the means of delivery, and current state of the art, including commercially available dressings. Data sources will include mainly peer-reviewed literature, clinical trials and reports, patents as well as government reports where available.
Part of the book: Wound Healing