Blended Gels of Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose Incorporating Antimicrobials for Absorbance and Wound Healing Applications

  • Renata Nunes OliveiraEmail author
  • Garrett Brian McGuinness
Living reference work entry
Part of the Polymers and Polymeric Composites: A Reference Series book series (POPOC)


Wound healing is frequently enhanced by the application of dressings which maintain a moist environment and provide for absorption of exudates. In many cases, dressings with antibacterial properties are considered beneficial, while barrier properties and mechanical integrity are also important. This chapter initially reviews the role of natural and herbal antimicrobial products including propolis, honey, and Punica granatum (pomegranate) as potential constituents for wound care biohydrogels. The applicability of a wide variety of polysaccharides, including carboxymethyl celluloses, in wound care biomaterials is then considered. Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (NaCMC) is able to form hydrogels by chemical crosslinking. Where a combination of properties is desired, blending with other polymers may be advantageous. The chapter concludes by examining recent progress with systems that incorporate a natural antimicrobial (propolis) within blended cryogels of NaCMC and poly (vinyl alcohol). PVA and its blends can form strong and relatively stiff hydrogels by a physical crosslinking process which occurs during freeze-thawing cycles. Crystallites are formed which anchor the polymer chains, creating a polymer network that can swell in the presence of fluids or exudates. Such composite gels retain acceptable mechanical properties even when loaded with up to 30% propolis. Dressings containing 15% propolis or more were effective against S. aureus and also exhibited high fluid uptake. Hydrogels containing NaCMC therefore have significant potential to meet the requirements for an effective wound care dressing, particularly when blended with natural antimicrobials and embedded in robust hydrogel matrices such as those of PVA cryogels.


PVA Cryogels Polysaccharides Carboxymethyl cellulose Hydrogels Wound care 



The authors would like to thank CAPES, CNPq, FAPERJ, and DCU.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renata Nunes Oliveira
    • 1
    Email author
  • Garrett Brian McGuinness
    • 2
  1. 1.Chemical Engineering Post-Graduation Program – PPGEQFederal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ)Rio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Centre for Medical Engineering Research, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing EngineeringDublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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