Silver nanoparticle impregnated chitosan-PEG hydrogel enhances wound healing in diabetes induced rabbits
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Non-healing wounds are among the serious complications of type-2-diabetes around the globe, associated with high incidence of bacterial infection, chronic nerve and blood vessel damage, and eventually repeated amputation of limbs and organs. Silver nanoparticles offer strong wound healing potential due to their well-known antibacterial activities. The present study reports the development of silver nanoparticle impregnated chitosan-poly ethylene glycol (PEG) hydrogel to accelerate wound healing in diabetic patients. The aim of the study was to formulate a sustained and slow release of silver nanoparticle using chitosan-PEG-Silver Nitrate based hydrogel for the treatment of chronic diabetic wounds. The silver nanoparticle containing chitosan-PEG pre-polymer solution was synthesized by reducing silver nitrate with PEG and chitosan solution, thereby, transforming the silver ions into silver nanoparticles. The resulted pre-polymer solution was then crosslinked using glutaraldehyde to form the desired hydrogel. The developed silver nanoparticle impregnated chitosan hydrogel was characterized using ultra-violet (UV) visible spectrophotometry, Fourier Transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) followed by the determination of porosity, and swelling properties. The release of AgNPs from hydrogel was determined by UV-vis spectroscopy followed by antimicrobial and antioxidant assays. The wound healing efficacy of the synthesized hydrogel was evaluated in diabetic rabbits. The results demonstrated a higher porosity, higher degree of swelling and higher water vapor transition rate (WVTR) for silver nanoparticle impregnated hydrogel compared to bare chitosan-PEG hydrogel as well as improved antimicrobial and antioxidant properties in-vitro and enhanced wound healing capability in-vivo in diabetic rabbits. The hydrogel showed a slow and sustained release of AgNPs over a period of at least seven days manifesting the slow biodegradation of developed hydrogels. The improved antimicrobial, antioxidant and wound healing results indicate that the silver nanoparticle impregnated chitosan-PEG hydrogel can be a promising material for wound healing dressing for chronic diabetic wounds.