Keywords: Wound healing, Gum acacia, Hydrogels, Oxygen permeability, Biodegradability, Hemocompatibility
Hydroactive wound dressings ensure a physiologically moist wound milieu which enhances healing and patient comfort. Polymers like polyurethane, salts of alginic acid, collagen, cellulose and other gelable polysaccharides are commonly used for preparation of hydrogels but have their own limitations. In the present study acacia gum, a natural polysaccharide having known antioxidant and wound healing properties has been blended with polyvinyl alcohol and prepared hydrogel matrix further explored for its wound healing potential. Structural characterization of blended films by FTIR and XRD method showed that polysaccharide gum associated with PVA molecules via acetal bridges and they were amorphous in nature. The gel exhibited free swell capacity of 64 g 0.100 cm−2, which is comparable to the commercially available films recommended for heavily exuding wounds. The GA/PVA blends showed 34% moisture retention (Rh) ability after 24 h and their fluid absorbing (26%) and fluid donation (16%) ability make them suitable for moist and fibrinous wounds. They also exhibited blood compatibility, oxygen permeability, bacterial impermeability, antioxidant activity, iron chelation ability and biodegradability. In vivo healing potential has been evaluated on Swiss albino mice where hydrogel coated wounds showed faster and scar-less wound regeneration. In vitro Povidone-Iodine loading and release studies showed that iodine release followed Fickian diffusion process. Prepared hydrogels are breathable and hydrophilic in nature and are able to maintain appropriate moisture level at wound surface, suitable for acceleration of wound healing process. Based upon the studied properties the designed hydrogels are recommended for dry, necrotic and low exuding wounds.
The authors would like to thank Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital, Ajmer for kindly supplying ACD human whole blood used in this work. The authors are also indebted to Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India for providing financial support to Laxmi Parwani in terms of fellowship (DBT-JRF/08-09185).