Background: No doubt, the prevention of infection is an indispensable aspect of the wound
management, but, simultaneous wound pain relief is also required. Therefore, herein this article, incorporation
of antibiotic agent ‘gentamicin’ and pain relieving agent ‘lidocaine’ into hydrogel wound dressings,
prepared by using acacia gum, carbopol and poly(2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate) polymers, has been carried
out. The hydrogels were evaluated as a drug carrier for model drugs gentamicin and lidocaine.
Method: Synthesis of hydrogel wound dressing was carried out by free radical polymerization technique.
The drug loading was carried out by swelling equilibrium method and gel strength of hydrogels
was measured by a texture analyzer.
Results: Porous microstructure of the hydrogel was observed in cryo-SEM images. The hydrogel
showed mesh size 37.29 nm, cross-link density 2.19× 10-5 mol/cm3, molecular weight between two
cross-links 60.25× 10-3 g/mol and gel strength 0.625±0.112 N in simulated wound fluid.
Conclusion: It is concluded that the pH of swelling medium has influenced the network structure of
hydrogel i.e., molecular weight of the polymer chain between two neighboring cross links, crosslink
density and the corresponding mesh size. A good correlation was established between gel strength and
network parameters. Cryo-SEM images showed porous morphology of hydrogels. These hydrogels
were found to be biodegradable and antimicrobial in nature. Drug release occurred through Fickian diffusion
mechanism and release profile was best fitted in first order model. Overall it is concluded that
modification in GA has led to formation of a porous hydrogels for wound dressing applications.