Langasco, Rita and Cadeddu, Barbara and Formato, Marilena and Lepedda, Antonio Junior and Cossu, Massimo and Giunchedi, Paolo and Pronzato, Roberto and Rassu, Giovanna and Manconi, Renata and Gavini, Elisabetta (2017) Natural collagenic skeleton of marine sponges in pharmaceutics: innovative biomaterial for topical drug delivery. Materials Science and Engineering C, Vol. 70 (Part 1), p. 710-720. ISSN 0928-4931. Article.
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The growing interest in the use of recyclable and biodegradable natural materials has become a relevant topic in pharmaceutics. In this work, we suggest the use and valorization of natural horny skeleton of marine sponges (Porifera, Dictyoceratida) as bio-based dressing for topical drug delivery. Biomaterial characterization focusing on morpho-functional traits, swelling behavior, fluid uptake performances, glycosaminoglycans content and composition and microbiological quality assessment was carried out to investigate the collagenic skeleton properties. After grinding and sieving processes, l-cysteine hydrochloride-loaded formulations were designed in form of powder or polymeric film by testing various drug concentrations and different drying parameters. Drug content, SEM analyses and in vitro permeation studies were performed to test the suitability of skeleton-based formulations. To this respect, drying time and temperature are key parameters for skeleton-mediated drug crystallization. Consequently, this behavior seems to influence drug loading and permeation profiles of formulations. The high percentages of drug are found after absorption into sponge powder and in vitro permeation studies demonstrate that cysteine is released more slowly than the pure drug within 1 h. Such a system is attractive because it combines the known healing properties of cysteine with the advantageous potentials of the collagen/proteoglycan network, which can act as biocompatible carrier able to absorb the excess of the wound exudate while releasing the drug. Furthermore, due to its glycosaminoglycans content, natural sponge skeletal scaffold might act as bioactive-biomimetic carrier regulating the wound healing processes.
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