Ciprofloxacin-loaded calcium alginate wafers prepared by freeze-drying technique for potential healing of chronic diabetic foot ulcers

  • Asif Ahmed
  • Giulia Getti
  • Joshua Boateng
Original Article


Calcium alginate (CA) wafer dressings were prepared by lyophilization of hydrogels to deliver ciprofloxacin (CIP) directly to the wound site of infected diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). The dressings were physically characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), texture analysis (for mechanical and in vitro adhesion properties), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Further, functional properties essential for wound healing, i.e., porosity, in vitro swelling index, water absorption (Aw), equilibrium water content (EWC), water vapor transmission rate (WVTR), evaporative water loss (EWL), moisture content, in vitro drug release and kinetics, antimicrobial activity, and cell viability (MTT assay) were investigated. The wafers were soft, of uniform texture and thickness, and pliable in nature. Wafers showed ideal wound dressing characteristics in terms of fluid handling properties due to high porosity (SEM). XRD confirmed crystalline nature of the dressings and FTIR showed hydrogen bond formation between CA and CIP. The dressings showed initial fast release followed by sustained drug release which can inhibit and prevent re-infection caused by both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The dressings also showed biocompatibility (> 85% cell viability over 72 h) with human adult keratinocytes. Therefore, it will be a potential medicated dressing for patients with DFUs infected with drug-resistant bacteria.


Calcium alginate Ciprofloxacin Diabetic foot ulcer Infection Lyophilized wafer Wound healing 



The authors will like to thank Samantha Lewis for her help with microbial analyses, Andrew Hurt for help with XRD and SEM analyses.

Funding information

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

13346_2017_445_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 3023 kb)


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Copyright information

© Controlled Release Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical, Chemical & Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and ScienceUniversity of GreenwichKentUK

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