Affiliation: LaBNUS – Laboratory of Biomaterials and Nanotechnology of the University of Sorocaba at Sorocaba’s Technological Park, University of Sorocaba, Cidade Universitária Prof. Aldo Vannucchi, Rod. Raposo Tavares km 92.5, CEP 18023-000 Sorocaba, São Paulo, Brazil.
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.