Propranolol-loaded electrospun nanofibrous wound dressing: From fabrication and characterization to preliminary wound healing evaluation

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran

2 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus

3 Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Research Center, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran


Objective(s): The wound healing potential of beta-blocker drugs such as propranolol (PNL) has recently attracted attention. To date, incorporation of PNL into electrospun nanofibrous wound dressing mats has not been tested as a novel topical drug delivery system. Presently, electrospun nanofibrous mats loaded with PNL were fabricated, and their physicochemical properties and wound healing activities were evaluated.
Materials and Methods: Polyvinyl alcohol solutions containing 0, 2% or 4% (wt/vol) PNL were electrospun into mats, and the physicochemical properties and PNL release were evaluated. In vitro biocompatibility of selected PNL-loaded mats was tested in human foreskin fibroblasts and wound healing capability was evaluated in mouse skin wounds.
Results: The 4% PNL mat had thin fibers (160 nm), convincing porosity (79.5%), and good hydrophilicity (swelling: 89.1%, water contact angle: 42.1°) with little degradability (14.2%). The release of PNL was not in bursts and was best explained by the Korsmeyer–Peppas equation (R2 = 0.96, n = 0.40), suggesting Fickian release. The viability of fibroblasts was 173% on day 5 of incubation with 4% PNL mats, indicating good mat biocompatibility. In vivo treatment for 14 days with 4% PNL mats resulted in wounds with a surface area of only 9% of the original wound area. These wounds had better histopathologic characteristics and were associated with less oxidative stress.
Conclusion: The wound dressing fabricated with 4% PNL showed good potential for wound healing because of a favorable drug release profile from the nanofiber scaffold, and can be considered eligible for further clinical research. 


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