Norfloxacin-Loaded Electrospun Scaffolds: Montmorillonite Nanocomposite vs. Free Drug
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ElectrospinningChitosanGlycosaminoglycansScaffoldsFibroblasts proliferationAntimicrobial properties
Faccendini, A., Ruggeri, M., Miele, D., Rossi, S., Bonferoni, M. C., Aguzzi, C., ... & Ferrari, F. (2020). Norfloxacin-Loaded Electrospun Scaffolds: Montmorillonite Nanocomposite vs. Free Drug. Pharmaceutics, 12(4), 325. [doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics12040325]
SponsorshipThis work was partially supported by Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 814607.
Infections in nonhealing wounds remain one of the major challenges. Recently, nanomedicine approach seems a valid option to overcome the antibiotic resistance mechanisms. The aim of this study was the development of three types of polysaccharide-based scaffolds (chitosan-based (CH), chitosan/chondroitin sulfate-based (CH/CS), chitosan/hyaluronic acid-based (CH/HA)), as dermal substitutes, to be loaded with norfloxacin, intended for the treatment of infected wounds. The scaffolds have been loaded with norfloxacin as a free drug (N scaffolds) or in montmorillonite nanocomposite (H—hybrid-scaffolds). Chitosan/glycosaminoglycan (chondroitin sulfate or hyaluronic acid) scaffolds were prepared by means of electrospinning with a simple, one-step process. The scaffolds were characterized by 500 nm diameter fibers with homogeneous structures when norfloxacin was loaded as a free drug. On the contrary, the presence of nanocomposite caused a certain degree of surface roughness, with fibers having 1000 nm diameters. The presence of norfloxacin–montmorillonite nanocomposite (1%) caused higher deformability (90–120%) and lower elasticity (5–10 mN/cm2 ), decreasing the mechanical resistance of the systems. All the scaffolds were proven to be degraded via lysozyme (this should ensure scaffold resorption) and this sustained the drug release (from 50% to 100% in 3 days, depending on system composition), especially when the drug was loaded in the scaffolds as a nanocomposite. Moreover, the scaffolds were able to decrease the bioburden at least 100-fold, proving that drug loading in the scaffolds did not impair the antimicrobial activity of norfloxacin. Chondroitin sulfate and montmorillonite in the scaffolds are proven to possess a synergic performance, enhancing the fibroblast proliferation without impairing norfloxacin’s antimicrobial properties. The scaffold based on chondroitin sulfate, containing 1% norfloxacin in the nanocomposite, demonstrated adequate stiffness to sustain fibroblast proliferation and the capability to sustain antimicrobial properties to prevent/treat nonhealing wound infection during the healing process.