The incorporation of natural bioactive compounds in wound dressings produced from biopolymers can have a significant impact on the prevention and therapy of infections and inflammatory processes. The complexation of the polysaccharides chitosan (C) and alginate (A) is already relevant in the production of dressings for skin lesions, since both compounds are capable of interfering positively in the healing process. Such natural polymers interact by electrostatic attraction and form thin, homogeneous, transparent and water-insoluble biocompatible films. The addition of the extract of the plant Arrabidaea chica
Verlot (AcV) to CA films is of particular interest, given that it may exert a synergistic effect in the treatment of lesions due to the anti-inflammatory, anti-hemorrhagic, anti-allergic, antioxidant and antiseptic properties of the plant extract. In this sense, the purpose of the present work was to analyze the effect of incorporating different proportions of the standardized extract of Arrabidaea chica
Verlot into dense CA films on the characteristics of the resulting biomaterial. The visual aspect, the morphology, the thickness, the uptake of phosphate-buffered saline, the cytotoxicity to fibroblasts (Vero cells) as well as the extract incorporation efficiency and release kinetics were evaluated. The results attained showed that the presence of the AcV extract turned the CA film red, moderately affecting its transparency. The analysis of the surface and cross-sectional morphology of the films by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicated that the plant extract was effectively dispersed in the structure of the material, also being noticed a slight increase in the thickness of the material by the incorporation of the AcV extract. Incorporation efficiency values above 80% were observed, and control of in vitro
release kinetics was noticed for at least 4 hours. In addition, mild stimulation of fibroblast proliferation was observed. In conclusion, films produced by the complexation of chitosan and alginate incorporating the extract of Arrabidaea chica
Verlot have great applicability potential in the treatment of skin lesions, representing an attractive alternative for the therapy of lesions using dressings obtained from sustainable feedstocks.
The authors are grateful for the financial support of this work by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), and by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), all from Brazil.