Flexible agar hydrogel as dressing for chronic wound healing and management

S. Tyeb, N. Kumar, A. Kumar, V. Verma
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur,

Keywords: chronic wound, healing, dressing, antimicrobial


We are focusing on the development of cost-effective, biodegradable hydrogel dressing for chronic wounds using agar as the choice of material. Agar is a hydrogel-forming polysaccharide extracted from seaweed. We blended agar hydrogel with another material Sericin (protein) that is waste of silk industry. Sericin has been reported to have improved collagen secretion and improve cell proliferation and also have free radical scavenging ability. We found that sericin release mechanism through agar hydrogel matrix was in accordance of Peppas Sahlin model of drug release. We observed that sericin incorporation to agar matrix had no effect on tensile strength of the agar matrix but improved the elongation property. Further, the biological evaluation of the dressing material indicated that the dressing was able to improve cellular proliferation, collagen secretion and shield away cells from the toxic effect of free radicals. In the next study, we incorporated agar with topical antimicrobial agent iodine to tackle infected wound. We incorporated iodine at different concentration to achieve minimum cellular injury with maximum antimicrobial activity. The antimicrobial activity of the material was evaluated by Kirby-Burer zone of inhibition method against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Our work indicates that the developed material has the potential to serve as dressing material for chronic wounds.