The sponge-like dressings feature antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are said to trigger tissue regeneration, which is considered critical for the healing of deep wounds.
Hyaluronic acid has been proven to stimulate the regeneration process and is commonly utilised for bone regeneration, ophthalmology, medical and cosmetic applications.
KTU Faculty of Chemical Technology researcher Odeta Baniukaitienė said: “Hyaluronic acid is a natural polymer found in living organisms, which has anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates tissue regeneration.
“We are used to commercial hyaluronic acid based products, which usually are thick liquids or gels. Although quickly absorbed by the organism, in this form the polymer doesn’t have the structure needed for tissue building.”
For the new dressings, the researchers created a net structure and utilised a freeze-drying technique in order to obtain the sponge-like form using hyaluronic acid, instead of the usual alginate or collagen.
Baniukaitienė added: “The dressing fills in the wound, and is serving as a structure for cells to stick on; the active compounds, which have antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or tissue regeneration stimulating qualities are in such a way fixed and carried through.”
The researchers have further partnered with the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences for the in-vitro evaluation of a hyaluronic acid scaffolds prototype in a variety of cells.