A biodegradable and low-cost composite transparent wound treatment film has been developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati. The substance, which is based on the integration of a synthetic polymer, is non-toxic in nature, according to the researchers, and will produce a moist environment that will allow the body to mend itself using endogenous enzymes.
In comparison to similar commercial materials, the laboratory-scale development was shown to be at least 50% cheaper. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules reported the findings.
“Wound-dressing materials such as cotton wool, lint, and gauzes are widely employed. They’re frequently used to control wound exudates and speed up the healing process. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of such materials is the unpleasant removal procedures, which can potentially cause damage to the healed tissue. Furthermore, their transparency becomes a crucial issue for sensitive wound applications that require regular visualization-based monitoring and treatment procedures,” stated Aritra Das, a Ph.D. student at IIT Guwahati.
“This invention has the potential to make a huge impact on the field. It emphasizes upon the integration of a synthetic polymer namely polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) with a natural polymer starch (St) to eventually achieve a low-cost, biodegradable, non-toxic, and transparent composite hydrogel,” Das added.
The team has created the knowledge framework and associated protocols for successful identification and optimization of polymer hydrogel films for probable wound dressing applications.
“The substance has the capacity to prevent bacterial invention even after it has expanded and lost its occlusivity in a hydrolytic environment. The polymer network’s consistent weight loss properties ensure that the components, particularly citric acid, are released in a timely manner, ensuring the protective barrier’s integrity. The leached components from the composite not only provide a suitable environment for the growth of wounded cells, but they also help to accelerate the growth of healthy cells and tissues,” said Chandan Das, professor at IIT Guwahati’s Department of Chemical Engineering.
The laboratory-achieved film constitution, according to the researchers, can be used for in-vivo characterizations and necessary scale-up studies. The use of malic acid instead of citric acid to improve the properties of PVA-St composite hydrogel films confirmed even more promising results in terms of both property enhancement as a viable wound dressing film and reduction in the retail cost of film manufacture.
“The research was conducted in an experimental and tabletop setting, requiring additional studies for scale-up as well as in-vivo analyses (real-world applications). The scale-up-related investigations, for example, can be handled by focusing on in-vivo analysis utilizing specimens such as wounded rats. The predicted price of the created materials is estimated to be around 50% or less of the commercial pricing of the aforesaid materials, based on processing costs and possible insights from scale-up studies,” said Rajagopal VS Uppaluri, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati.