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Title: Novel atmospheric plasma enhanced chitosan nanofiber/gauze composite wound dressings

item NAWALAKHE, RUPESH - North Carolina State University
item SHI, QUAN - North Carolina State University
item VITCHULI, NARENDIRAN - North Carolina State University
item NOAR, JESSE - North Carolina State University
item Caldwell, Jane
item Breidt, Frederick
item BOURHAM, MOHAMED - North Carolina State University
item ZHANG, ZIANGWU - North Carolina State University
item MCCORD, MARIAN - North Carolina State University

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2012
Publication Date: 7/15/2013
Citation: Nawalakhe, R., Shi, Q., Vitchuli, N., Noar, J., Caldwell, J.M., Breidt, F., Bourham, M.A., Zhang, Z., Mccord, M.G. 2013. Novel atmospheric plasma enhanced chitosan nanofiber/gauze composite wound dressings. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 129(2):916-923.

Interpretive Summary: This research was conducted to determine how an electron plasma can be used to help link antimicrobial compounds to a gauze fabric used for bandages. The research was a multidisciplinary effort, conducted by nuclear physicists, entomologists, and microbiologists. The antimicrobial compounds were attached to the gauze using the plasma enhanced procedure that facilitated attachment and prevented degradation of a nanofiber layer in the material. The results of the research showed that the antimicrobial compound retained its activity after attachment. The research may have application for producing safe, antimicrobial gauze fabrics for wound treatment.

Technical Abstract: Electrospun chitosan nanofibers were deposited onto atmospheric plasma treated cotton gauze to create a novel composite bandage with higher adhesion, better handling properties, enhanced bioactivity, and moisture management. Plasma treatment of the gauze substrate was performed to improve the durability of the nanofiber/gauze interface. The chitosan nanofibers were electrospun at 3–7% concentration in trifluoroacetic acid. The composite bandages were analyzed using peel, gelbo flex, antimicrobial assay, moisture vapor transmission rate, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), absorbency, and air permeability tests. The peel test showed that plasma treatment of the substrate increased the adhesion between nanofiber layers and gauze substrate by up to four times. Atmospheric plasma pretreatment of the gauze fabric prior to electrospinning significantly reduced degradation of the nanofiber layer due to repetitive flexing. The chitosan nanofiber layer contributes significantly to the antimicrobial properties of the bandage. Air permeability and moisture vapor transport were reduced due to the presence of a nanofiber layer upon the substrate. XPS of the plasma treated cotton substrate showed formation of active sites on the surface, decrease in carbon content, and increase in oxygen content as compared to the untreated gauze. Deposition of chitosan nanofibers also increased the absorbency of gauze substrate.