Manufacturing Ulvan Biopolymer for Wound Dressings
Macromolecular Materials and Engineering
Although recent advancements in wound healing strategies have led to successful treatment for numerous wounds, the incidence of wound infections remain elevated, and is anticipated to rise as the effectiveness of antibiotics wanes. Biofabrication is a promising technique for producing innovative tissue structures that mimic the natural placement of biologically important substances, biocompatibility, mechanical properties, and repeatability. In this report, a novel method for generating three-dimensional (3D) biomaterials for wound healing applications, utilizing an ulvan hydrogel is presented. Wet-spun ulvan fibers and 3D printed hydrogel structure are fabricated through wet-spinning and an additive manufacturing process. The results show that the viscosity of the ulvan solution is 110 Pa·s on day one and over 180 Pa·s on day four (gelation) which is critical for fiber spinning and additive manufacturing. The mechanical properties of ulvan fiber shows a 211% increase in elongation at break and a 350% increase in Young's modulus compared to wet-spun alginate fibers. The biocompatibility evaluation demonstrates slightly superior cell viability levels for ulvan fibers when compared to commonly used biomaterials like alginate and chitosan for wound dressing applications. These results underscore the potential of ulvan fibers as a promising solution for wound healing, owing to their inherent biocompatibility.
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