Background: Nanofibers such as bacterial cellulose nanofibers (BC-NFs) have gained increasing
attention for use in wound dressings. Topical application of arginine can stimulate wound healing
Objective: In order to promote the wound healing process, arginine functionalized BC-NFs containing
gel (Arg-BC-NFs gel) was prepared by the electrostatic attachment of arginine on the surface of BCNFs.
Method: The effect of pH was evaluated on the amount of the attached arginine on the BC-NFs surface.
The attachment of arginine on BC-NFs surface was investigated by FTIR spectroscopy. The morphology
of Arg-BC-NFs was evaluated using FESEM. The viscosity and spreadability of Arg-BC-NFs and
the release of arginine from Arg-BC-NFs were evaluated. The effectiveness of Arg-BC-NFs gel was
assessed in a full thickness wound model in rats. Re-epithelization, collagen deposition and neovascularization
were investigated in the wound tissues using histological and immunohistochemical analysis.
Results: FTIR spectra and the zeta potential of BC-NFs confirmed the surface modification of BC-NFs
by arginine. FESEM images showed the nanofibrous structure of Arg-BC-NFs. The release of arginine
from Arg-BC-NFs gel was in a sustained release manner for 24 h. The appropriate viscosity and spreadability
of Arg-BC-NFs gel confirmed its easy topical application. In vivo studies revealed that Arg-BCNFs
gel promoted wound closure at a faster rate than BC-NFs gel and arginine solution. Moreover,
faster and more organized re-epithelialization, angiogenesis and collagen deposition were achieved in
Arg-BC-NFs gel treated group in comparison to other groups.
Conclusion: Arg-BC-NFs gel can be introduced as an effective wound dressing for acute wounds.