Background: Burn injuries are the most common injuries and remain as a major health problem
affecting communities worldwide. Many alternative therapies are used as treatment for burns. The
healing efficacy of sulphated polysaccharide ascophyllan was evaluated and studied its mechanism of
action on experimental burn wounds in rats.
Methods: Ascophyllan fractions were extracted from marine brown algae Padina tetrastromatica (Dictyotaceae)
and evaluated its burn wound healing potential. Full thickness burn wounds induced in male
albino rats were used for in vivo study and evaluated wound healing parameters.
Results: The results showed that ascophyllan fraction 3 (AF3) had no cytotoxic effect and it increases
cell migration and production of VEGF in fibroblasts. AF3 significantly reduced in vitro secretion of
cytokines in blood mononuclear cells treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In vivo study showed that
AF3 (5%) has significant wound healing activity in albino rats and this dose was used for studying the
healing mechanism. The reference control used for the study was povidone-iodine ointment. Wound
area contraction and reepithelialisation was faster in AF3 (5%) administered group. When applied topically,
AF3 (5%) increased hydroxyproline and hexosamine content at the wound site. Uronic acid, DNA
and proteins levels were also increased. Compared to the control groups, AF3 (5%) treatment showed an
increase in neovascularization and fibroblast proliferation as evidenced by histopathology of granulation
Conclusion: Sulphated polysaccharide ascophyllan is beneficial for the wound environment as it enhances
the healing process and suggested the safe usage of this algal polysaccharide as an alternative for
replacing current synthetic wound healing agents in medicine.