Silk and Plant-Based Gel Infused with Cardamom for Improved Medical Materials

Jim Crocker
19th June, 2024

Silk and Plant-Based Gel Infused with Cardamom for Improved Medical Materials

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Islamic Azad University developed a hybrid wound dressing combining natural and synthetic polymers
  • The dressing includes silk fibroin and polyvinyl alcohol nanofibers, with a sodium alginate and gum tragacanth hydrogel containing cardamom extract
  • The hybrid dressing showed excellent water retention, thermal stability, and controlled release of cardamom extract
  • It demonstrated high biocompatibility, cell proliferation, and significant antibacterial activity against common wound bacteria
Chronic lower extremity wounds, particularly diabetic foot ulcers, pose significant challenges due to their poor healing rates and high risk of amputation[2]. Traditional diagnostic methods rely on macroscopic analysis, but there is a growing interest in molecular diagnostics and advanced wound dressings that can improve the diagnosis, staging, and treatment of these ulcers. Recent advancements have highlighted the potential of biomaterials in creating effective wound dressings. Among these biomaterials, polysaccharide polymers and silk fibroin have shown promising results due to their biocompatibility and other beneficial properties[3][4]. A recent study conducted by researchers at Islamic Azad University[1] has explored the development of a hybrid wound dressing that combines natural and synthetic polymers to leverage their high biological and physical-mechanical properties. This hybrid dressing consists of silk fibroin (SF) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanofibers, along with a sodium alginate (SA) and gum tragacanth (GT) hydrogel incorporating cardamom extract as an antibacterial agent. The study involved extracting SF from cocoons and blending it with PVA in a 1:1 ratio. This blend was then electrospun under specific conditions to form uniform, bead-free fibers with an average diameter of 199 ± 28 nm. The successful extraction and preparation of these mixed fibrous mats were confirmed through SEM images, FTIR, and XRD analyses. The next step involved preparing a cardamom oil extract-loaded SA/GT hydrogel, onto which the nanofibrous structure was placed. SEM analysis showed a uniform morphology and a desirable match between the two layers of the hybrid structure. The hybrid dressing demonstrated several key properties that make it suitable for wound healing applications. TGA analysis indicated desirable thermal stability, and the swelling ratio was found to be 1251% after 24 hours, suggesting excellent water retention capacity. This is crucial for wound dressings as it helps maintain a moist environment, which is beneficial for wound healing[3]. Additionally, the drug release profile showed no initial burst, indicating a controlled release of the cardamom extract. Biocompatibility and cell proliferation are critical factors for any wound dressing. The MTT assay and cell attachment results from this study showed favorable biocompatibility and cell proliferation on samples containing the cardamom extract. This aligns with previous findings that emphasize the importance of biocompatible materials in wound dressings[3][4]. The antibacterial activity values of the hybrid dressing were 85.35% against Staphylococcus aureus and 75% against Escherichia coli, highlighting its potential to prevent infections, a common complication in chronic wounds[2]. The incorporation of cardamom extract as an antibacterial agent adds another layer of functionality to the dressing. Cardamom is known for its antimicrobial properties, and its inclusion in the hydrogel helps in combating bacterial infections, which are a significant concern in chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers[2]. This study ties together several previous findings and expands on them. For instance, the use of silk fibroin aligns with earlier research that has highlighted its biocompatibility and mechanical properties, making it suitable for skin tissue engineering and repair applications[4]. Similarly, the use of polysaccharide polymers like sodium alginate and gum tragacanth is supported by previous studies that have demonstrated their effectiveness in wound dressings due to their non-toxic, biocompatible, and hemostatic properties[3]. In summary, the hybrid nanofibrous-hydrogel film structure incorporating cardamom oil extract developed by researchers at Islamic Azad University represents a promising candidate for wound healing applications and skin tissue engineering. By combining the beneficial properties of natural and synthetic polymers, this hybrid dressing addresses several key challenges in wound care, including biocompatibility, mechanical stability, and antibacterial activity. This study builds on previous research and offers a comprehensive solution that could significantly improve the treatment of chronic wounds.



Main Study

1) A hybrid structure based on silk fibroin/PVA nanofibers and alginate/gum tragacanth hydrogel embedded with cardamom extract.

Published 18th June, 2024

Related Studies

2) Next-Generation Diagnostic Wound Dressings for Diabetic Wounds.

3) Pullulan-Based Hydrogels in Wound Healing and Skin Tissue Engineering Applications: A Review.

4) Silk fibroin for skin injury repair: Where do things stand?

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