Manufacturing and characterization of gellan gum – zinc oxide composites as potential biomaterials for wound treatment
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AGH University of Krakow, Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, Department of Biomaterials and Composites, al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
Submission date: 2023-03-28
Acceptance date: 2023-04-26
Publication date: 2023-05-08
Corresponding author
Alicja Macyk
Engineering of Biomaterials 2023;(168):2–8
This study aimed to produce gellan gum-based hydrogels with the addition of zinc oxide as a potential dressing material. Hydrogels with ZnO concentrations of 0.01%, 0.02% and 0.04% were prepared, micrometric and nanometric ZnO particles were used, and a CaCl2 crosslinker was added to one part of the samples. All samples (14 types) produced by the freeze drying method were characterized with high swelling properties (>2000%), what is important to ensure the absorption of exudates from wounds. Samples with ZnO particles cross-linked with CaCl2 lost less mass after incubation in aqueous media and were characterized by better dimensional stability than those without crosslinking. The pH of the extracts of the samples containing ZnO particles was more neutral (pH 7.0-7.6) than that of the control gellan gum samples (pH of 5.5-6.1). The zinc release from cross-linked samples was twice as high for those containing nanometric particles than for micrometric particles (1.94 ± 0.04 mg/l and 0.93 ± 0.02, respectively). Relatively large amounts of released zinc species in the case of samples containing ZnO nanoparticles are promising in the context of the antibacterial properties and treatment of infected wounds. A lower amount of zinc released from samples with ZnO microparticles could be sufficient to prevent the development of the infection. Furthermore, both materials show satisfactory cytocompatibility with L929 fibroblasts, as shown by Alamar blue and live/dead viability tests, making them prospective candidates for wound healing.