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Development and characterization of natural rubber latex wound dressings enriched with hydroxyapatite and silver nanoparticles for biomedical uses

Skin injuries are some of the most common problems faced by those with trouble healing. Medicine currently searches for multifunctional biomaterials that can enhance healing, while providing surface features favorable to human skin and unfavorable to microorganisms. In this context, this work aims to produce natural rubber latex (NRL) dressings enriched with hydroxyapatite - Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 - and silver nanoparticles through magnetron sputtering. These dressings are provided with specific properties such as wettability, roughness and bacteriostatic activity to prevent cell adhesion and allow tissue regeneration without contamination by microorganisms. Modified NRL films showed hydrophilic character, along with an increase in roughness and Ca/P molar ratio of 0.7. The rate of fluid absorption of the films with (phosphate-buffered saline) solution demonstrates that the dressings will retain a certain amount of exudate. Also, silver, which is most likely in the form of nanoclusters, was leached in a proper quantity into a fluid medium. Biological assays proved that the dressings did not present cytotoxic effects in contact with fibroblasts and displayed bacteriostatic activity against S. aureus and E. coli. Fibroblast cells did not adhere over the samples, but proliferation was improved with time. This work successfully joined the benefits of calcium phosphate with silver-enrichment against bacteria using surface engineering techniques on the modification of NRL. Ultimately, the dressings produced in this study are promising for application in wound healing.

Publication date: 01/08/2022

Author: Ana Elisa Dotta Maddalozzo, Rafaele Frassini, Cristian Padilha Fontoura, Melissa Machado Rodrigues, Caroline Olivieri da Silva Frozza, Carlos Alejandro Figueroa, Marcelo Giovanela, Cesar Aguzzoli, Mariana Roesch-Ely, Janaina da Silva Crespo

Reactive and Functional Polymers


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.