Development and Characterization of a Hydrogel Containing Nitrofurazone for Antimicrobial Topical Applications
Marta M.D.C. Vila,
Sebastiao L. Coelho,
Marco V. Chaud,
Jose M. Oliveira Jr,
Victor M. Balcao.
The goal of the research work entertained herein was the development and characterization of a poly-(vinyl alcohol)
(PVA) hydrogel cross-linked with glutaraldehyde and impregnated with 0.2% (w/w) nitrofurazone (NTZ), for topical
applications. To verify the active principle release capability, one has determined (i) swelling profile, (ii) in vitro release
of NTZ via UV-VIS spectrophotometry, and (iii) antimicrobial activity via exposure to the hydrogel of ATCC
strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The optimized hydrogel was further
characterized via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), infrared spectroscopy with Fourier transform, moisture content
determinations and thermal analyses via thermal gravimetry (TGA). Swelling tests revealed a mass increase from 100±5%
up to 350±11%. Incorporated NTZ displayed bactericidal activity, as expected, being released in a linearly controlled
fashion above 6 µg/mL during experiment timeframes of 14 h. SEM analyses allowed verification of a homogeneous surface
morphology, while infrared spectra showed that NTZ did not bind strongly to the cross-linked polymer. Furthermore,
results from thermal analyses suggested a loss of thermal stability arising from incorporation of NTZ in the hydrogel. The
optimized hydrogel exhibited characteristics with high potential for (antimicrobial) treatment of skin lesions.
Keywords: Antimicrobial, controlled drug release systems, hydrogel, nitrofurazone, topical applications.
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