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Characterization of Fibrous Chitosan-Alginate Membranes Produced by Coacervation and Designed for Skin Lesion Therapy

Ana Paula Rodrigues1, Jussara Rehder2, Maria Beatriz Puzzi2, and Angela Maria Moraes1. (1) Department of Biotechnological Processes/School of Chemical Engineering, State University of Campinas, A v. Albert Einstein, 500, Campinas - SP, Brazil, (2) Department of Internal Medicine/ School of Medicine, State University of Campinas, Rua Alexander Fleming, 40, Campinas - SP, Brazil

Several polymeric membranes have been developed for the treatment of many types of cutaneous lesions, and different polymer types can be used for membrane preparation. In particular, films based on polysaccharides such as chitosan and alginate have been frequently studied for this purpose, since a substantial decrease in treatment length and minimum scar formation have been observed when these biomaterials are employed instead of conventional wound dressings. Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide derived from chitin that can accelerate skin reepithelialization, polymorphonuclear cells migration and cell proliferation in the wound area. Alginate is a natural polysaccharide obtained from seaweed, known to facilitate wound healing and epidermal regeneration and, as well as chitosan, it is nontoxic, biodegradable and biocompatible. In this context, the goal of this work was to obtain and characterize fibrous membranes composed of chitosan and alginate coacervates produced in the presence of acetone. Two different membrane types were produced, one designed for wounds presenting high exsudate production rates, while the other was meant to be used for low exsudate-forming wounds. Effective protection from bacteria penetration, high water uptake values, high water drainage ability and appropriate mechanical properties were observed for both membrane types. Preliminary evaluation of cell (fibroblasts and keratinocytes) adhesion and proliferation on the surface of these membranes indicated that these biomaterials not only allow, but also stimulate, cell growth in multilayer. These results suggest that the prepared membranes have high potential to be used as wound dressings. Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to FAPESP and CNPq for their financial support and Acecil Central de Esterilização Comércio e Indústria Ltda (Campinas, SP, Brazil) for membrane sterilization.