Synthesis of a Semi-Interpenetrating Polymer Network as a Bioactive Curcumin Film


This study focused on the synthesis and characterization of a natural polymeric system employing the interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) comprising curcumin as a bioactive. Biopolymers and actives such as chitosan, hypromellose, citric acid, genipin, and curcumin were used to develop an effective, biodegradable, and biocompatible film employed therapeutically as a wound healing platform. The semi-IPN films were investigated for their physicochemical, physicomechanical, and biological properties by quantification by FTIR, DSC, and Young’s modulus. Following characterization, an optimum candidate formulation was produced whereby further in vitro and ex vivo studies were performed. Results revealed a burst release occurring at the first hour with 1.1 mg bioactive released when in contact with the dissolution medium and 2.23 mg due to bioactive permeation through the skin, thus suggesting that the lipophilic nature of skin greatly impacted the bioactive release rate. Furthermore, chemical and mechanical characterization and tensile strength analysis revealed that the degree of crosslinking and concentration of polymeric material used significantly influenced the properties of the film.

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This work was funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa.

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The Authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Viness Pillay.

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Mayet, N., Kumar, P., Choonara, Y.E. et al. Synthesis of a Semi-Interpenetrating Polymer Network as a Bioactive Curcumin Film. AAPS PharmSciTech 15, 1476–1489 (2014).

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  • biomaterials
  • crosslinker
  • curcumin
  • films
  • semi-interpenetrating polymer network
  • wound healing