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J Biomater Appl. 2017 Apr;31(9):1267-1276. doi: 10.1177/0885328217702173. Epub 2017 Mar 29.

Microbial alginate dressings show improved binding capacity for pathophysiological factors in chronic wounds compared to commercial alginate dressings of marine origin.

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1 Department of Trauma, Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Albert-Einstein University, Ulm, Germany.
2 Xenios AG, Heilbronn, Germany.
3 B.R.A.I.N. AG, Darmstädter Straße 34-36, Zwingenberg, Germany.
4 Department of General and Visceral Surgery, Klinikum Ludwigsburg, Ludwigsburg, Germany.
5 Department of Hygiene, Environment and Medicine, Hohenstein Institute, Bonnigheim, Germany.


Marine alginates are well established in wound management. Compared with different modern wound dressings, marine alginates cannot prove superior effects on wound healing. Alginates from bacteria have never been studied for medical applications so far, although the microbial polymer raises expectations for improved binding of wound factors because of its unique O-acetylation. Due to its possible positive effects on wound healing, alginates from bacteria might be a superior future medical product for clinical use. To prove the binding capacity of microbial alginates to pathophysiological factors in chronic wounds, we processed microbial alginate fibres, produced from fermentation of the soil bacterium Azotobacter vinelandii ATCC 9046, into needle web dressings and compared them with commercial dressings made of marine alginate. Four dressings were assessed: Marine alginate dressings containing either ionic silver or zinc/manganese/calcium, and microbial alginate dressings with and without nanosilver. All dressings were tested in an in vitro approach for influence on chronic wound parameters such as elastase, matrix metalloproteases-2, tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-8, and free radical formation. Despite the alginate origin or addition of antimicrobials, all dressings were able to reduce the concentration of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-8. However, microbial alginate was found to bind considerable larger amounts of elastase and matrix metalloproteases-2 in contrast to the marine alginate dressings. The incorporation of zinc, silver or nanosilver into alginate fibres did not improve their binding capacity for proteases or cytokines. The addition of nanosilver slightly enhanced the antioxidant capacity of microbial alginate dressings, whereas the marine alginate dressing containing zinc/manganese/calcium was unable to inhibit the formation of free radicals. The enhanced binding affinity by microbial alginate of Azotobacter vinelandii to pathophysiological factors may be interesting to support optimal conditions for wound healing.


Alginate; microbial; pathophysiology; specific advantages; wound biomaterial importance; wound dressing; wound material


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