Mechanical characteristics of nanocellulose-PEG bionanocomposite wound dressings in wet conditions

Updated: 2017-02-07 | Print

Fengzhen Suna, Henriette R. Nordlib, Brita Pukstadb,c, E. Kristofer Gamstedta, Gary Chinga-Carrasco‎d

a Division of Applied Mechanics, Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 534, SE-75121 Uppsala, Sweden

b Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

c Department of Dermatology, St. Olavs Hospital HF, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway

d PFI, Høgskoleringen 6b, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway

Wood nanocellulose has been proposed for wound dressing applications partly based on its capability to form translucent films with good liquid absorption capabilities. Such properties are adequate for non-healing and chronic wounds where adequate management of exudates is a requirement. In addition, the translucency will allow to follow the wound development without the necessity to remove the dressing from the wound. Understanding the mechanical properties of nanocellulose films and dressings are also most important for tailoring optimizing wound dressing structures with adequate strength, conformability, porosity and exudate management. Mechanical properties are usually assessed in standard conditions (50% relative humidity, RH), which is not relevant in a wound management situation. In this study we have assessed the mechanical properties of three nanocellulose grades varying in the degree of nanofibrillation. The effect of nanofibrillation and of polyethylene glycol (PEG) addition, on the tensile strength, elongation and elastic modulus were assessed after 24 hours in water and in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). The results reveal the behavior of the nanocellulose dressings after wetting and shed light into the development of mechanical properties in environments, which are relevant from a wound management point of view.

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 69, Pages 377–384.