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Two-layer Electrospun System Enabling Wound Exudate Management and Visual Infection Response.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) (2019-03-01)
Mohamed Basel Bazbouz, Giuseppe Tronci
ABSTRACT

The spread of antimicrobial resistance calls for chronic wound management devices that can engage with the wound exudate and signal infection by prompt visual effects. Here, the manufacture of a two-layer fibrous device with independently-controlled exudate management capability and visual infection responsivity was investigated by sequential free surface electrospinning of poly(methyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid) (PMMA-co-MAA) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA). By selecting wound pH as infection indicator, PMMA-co-MAA fibres were encapsulated with halochromic bromothymol blue (BTB) to trigger colour changes at infection-induced alkaline pH. Likewise, the exudate management capability was integrated via the synthesis of a thermally-crosslinked network in electrospun PAA layer. PMMA-co-MAA fibres revealed high BTB loading efficiency (>80 wt.%) and demonstrated prompt colour change and selective dye release at infected-like media (pH > 7). The synthesis of the thermally-crosslinked PAA network successfully enabled high water uptake (WU = 1291 ± 48 - 2369 ± 34 wt.%) and swelling index (SI = 272 ± 4 - 285 ± 3 a.%), in contrast to electrospun PAA controls. This dual device functionality was lost when the same building blocks were configured in a single-layer mesh of core-shell fibres, whereby significant BTB release (~70 wt.%) was measured even at acidic pH. This study therefore demonstrates how the fibrous configuration can be conveniently manipulated to trigger structure-induced functionalities critical to chronic wound management and monitoring.

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Sigma-Aldrich
Tetraethylene glycol, 99%