Novel alginate-chitosan aerogel fibres for potential wound healing applications

Miguel P. Batista, Vanessa S. S. Gonçalves, Frédéric Bustos Gaspar, Isabel D. Nogueira, Ana Alexandra Matias, P. Gurikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Aerogels produced from marine polymers, such as chitosan and alginate, are of interest for wound healing applications due to their attractive properties. These properties can be the aerogel's high porosity along with the antimicrobial activity of chitosan or the capacity to provide a moist environment of alginate. The aim of this work was to develop a new route towards hybrid alginate-chitosan aerogel fibres and to evaluate their potential for wound healing applications. The influence of chitosan molecular weight and its content on the fibres characteristics was evaluated. To produce the fibres, the formation of polyelectrolyte complex hydrogels of both polymers was performed by the emulsion-gelation method. Hydrogels were converted in alcogels through a solvent exchange followed by drying with supercritical CO2. Resulting aerogels were observed to be light-weight, fluffy mesoporous fibres with a specific surface area of 162–302 m2/g and specific pore volume of 1.41–2.49 cm3/g. Biocompatibility of the fibres was evaluated, and the result showed that they were non-cytotoxic. Bioactivity of the fibres regarding the ability to close a wound on an in vitro scale and antibacterial activity were also evaluated. Aerogel fibres presented percentages of recovered scratch area of about 75%, higher than the untreated control (~50%) and a clear antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The obtained results suggest that these alginate-chitosan aerogel fibres could be good candidates for wound healing applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-782
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Aerogel fibres
  • Bioactivity
  • Biocompatibility
  • Wound healing


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