Multifuncional biopolymer-bases materials for modulatig the activites of chromic wound enzymes
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
This thesis focuses on the development of active multifunctional dressing materials and nanoparticle formulations with suitable exploitation characteristics for chronic wounds treatment. Chronic wounds a growing clinical challenge in the aging and/or reduced mobility population include pressure, venous, arterial and diabetic neuropathic ulcers. Due to the nonhealing character of these ulcers their management requires an intensive medical intervention at huge healthcare costs. The prolonged inflammation and elevated concentrations of oxidative and proteolytic enzymes in all chronic wounds, imposes the need for novel functional dressing materials to actively modulate the wound environment at molecular level and stimulate the healing process. Based on an extensive analysis of the current state-of-the-art in chronic wound healing, the proper dressings should combine both antimicrobial and enzyme inhibitory functions coupled to optimal hydrophilicity. Such integrated approach would allow for the suppression of the persistent inflammation and stimulation of the synthesis of the dermal tissue components. Biopolymers with intrinsic antimicrobial and wound repair properties appear as appropriate matrix materials to be further upgraded with bioactive molecules (therapeutics) that couple high reactivity with the ability to address specific targets in the biochemical environment of chronic wounds. Therapeutic devices can be designed in different forms depending on the particular clinical application, i.e. wound type and its characteristics. During the thesis realisation biopolymer-based platforms were generated in various designs and functionalised with active agents for controlled inhibition of major chronic wound enzymes. The capacity of all developed materials to inhibit proteolytic (e.g. collagenase) and oxidative (e.g. myeloperoxidase) enzymes involved in chronic inflammation was evaluated in vitro. In the first approach sponge-like biopolymer matrices were produced via freeze-drying technique and controlled chemical cross-linking. These matrices were further impregnated with natural polyphenolic compounds. Modulation of the deleterious wound enzyme activities was achieved upon release of active agent from the platform. The exploitation characteristics of the sponges, i.e. mechanical properties, biostability, biocompatibility, extent and duration of wound enzymes inhibition, were tuned by: the biopolymer composition, concentration of the cross-linking agent, and the proper selection of the bioactive phenolic compounds. The second approach aimed at the permanent functionalisation of the biopolymeric platforms with thiol-bearing compounds. In this case the active agent is expected to act from the platform, without being released into the wound. The obtained thiolated biopolymers were further processed into functional nanomaterials of different design: *Nanoscale films/coatings were built using a layer-by-layer approach for alternate deposition of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes. Naturally occurring glycosaminoglycans were used as counterions to cationic thiolated conjugates. *Nanoparticle formulations were obtained from thiolated conjugates in a one-step sonochemical process. In both cases the biopolymer thiolation degree was identified as a key factor for the successful fabrication of the multilayered coatings and nanoparticles, as well as to achieve control of the thickness/size of the functional nanomaterials. In addition, tuneable inhibition/adsorption of the deleterious enzymes coupled to fibroblast attachment/proliferation was observed by ruling the biopolymer modification degree.
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