Mrs. Margit Kempf1, Professor Roy Kimble2, Dr. Leila Cuttle3
1 Centre For Children’s Burns And Trauma Research, Child Health Research Centre, The University Of Queensland, South Brisbane, Australia, 2Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Children’ Health Queensland, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, Australia, 3Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Queensland University of Technology, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Centre for Children’s Health Research, South Brisbane, Australia
Background: Recently the LCCH Burn Centre has changed practice from using 0.1% Chlorhexidine (CH) to 0.1% QV gentle wash (Ego Pharmaceuticals) for non-infected wounds. QV provided a more comfortable experience for the burns patient, e.g. less itch and less dryness after cleaning. We were interested to test the cytotoxicity of the two products with respect to different concentrations and incubation time on Hek cells.
Method: We exposed the cells to the two products with concentrations from 0.05% to 0.5% and different incubation times starting at 2 minutes up to 24 hours plus + / – 1hr recovery period after exposure. The cytotoxicity was measured with the MTT test, detecting the relative viability of treated cells compared to untreated control. For the clinically applied concentration of 0.1% CH we additionally illustrated live vs dead cells with 1) immunofluorescence images after staining with the Live/Dead™ assay detection kit, 2) light microscopic images after staining with Trypan blue cell dye and 3) cell regrowth after exposure.
Results: All CH concentrations independent of duration or incubation time kill cells immediately. QV at 0.1% is not cytotoxic apart from the 24hr exposure, which reduces the cell viability to only 60%. QV at 0.5% is very cytotoxic to cells, after 2 minutes the viability is <30%. The Chlorhexidine treated cells were shown to be dead by all 4 different detection methods.
Conclusion: This results provide good evidence that QV gentle wash is less cytotoxic to skin cells than Chlorhexidine Gluconate.
Margit Kempf completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Laboratory Science at the University Muenster, Germany.In 2001 she commenced working for Prof. R. Kimble and was responsible for the laboratory aspect of many of his projects. Since then she has worked with his scientists in the Centre for Children’s Burn Research and is co-author on 34 publications.