Poly(vinyl alcohol)/chitosan asymmetrical membranes: Highly controlled morphology toward the ideal wound dressing

Patrícia I. Morgado, Pedro Lisboa, Maximiano P. Ribeiro, Sónia P. Miguel, Pedro Miguel Calado Simões, Ilídio J. Correia, Ana Aguiar-Ricardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Asymmetrical membranes have been reported as ideal wound dressings for skin regeneration. The usual methods (dry/wet-phase inversion) to produce those specific membranes are time consuming, and in majority of the cases demand the use of harmful organic solvents. In this study, supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2)-assisted phase inversion method was applied to prepare poly(vinyl alcohol)/chitosan (PVA/CS) asymmetrical membranes. This technique can tailor the final structure of the dressing by tuning the processing conditions allowing the development of high porous materials with optimized morphology, mechanical properties and hydrophilicity. The PVA/CS dressings produced are recovered in a dry state but can form a hydrogel due to their high water uptake ability maintaining the moisturized environment needed for wound healing. The dressing presents a top thin layer of about 15μm that allows gaseous exchange while barricading the penetration of microorganisms, and a sponge bottom layer that is able to remove excess exudates. A mathematical model based on Fick[U+05F3]s second law of diffusion was developed to describe the pharmacokinetic release profile of a small drug (ibuprofen) from the swollen membrane in physiological conditions that mimic the wound. In vitro studies revealed that the dressings had excellent biocompatibility and biodegradation properties adequate for skin wound healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-271
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Asymmetrical membranes
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Phase inversion
  • Wound dressings


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