Chitosan-coated PLGA nanoparticles loaded with peganum harmala alkaloids with promising antibacterial and wound healing activities

Funding Sponsor

American University in Cairo

Author's Department

Chemistry Department

Second Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering Department

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Research Article

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Wound healing is a major healthcare concern, and complicated wounds may lead to severe outcomes such as septicemia and amputations. To date, management choices are limited, which warrants the search for new potent wound healing agents. Natural products loaded in poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) coated with chitosan (CS) constitute a promising antibacterial wound healing formulation. In this work, harmala alkaloid-rich fraction (HARF) loaded into PLGA nanoparticles coated with chitosan (H/CS/PLGA NPs) were designed using the emulsion-solvent evaporation method. Optimization of the formulation variables (HARF: PLGA and CS: PLGA weight ratios, sonication time) was performed using the 33 Box–Behnken design (BBD). The optimal NPs were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier-Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). The prepared NPs had an average particle size of 202.27 ± 2.44 nm, a PDI of 0.23 ± 0.01, a zeta potential of 9.22 ± 0.94 mV, and an entrapment efficiency of 86.77 ± 4.18%. In vitro drug release experiments showed a biphasic pattern where an initial burst of 82.50 ± 0.20% took place in the first 2 h, which increased to 87.50 ± 0.50% over 72 h. The designed optimal H/CS/PLGA NPs exerted high antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (MIC of 0.125 and 0.06 mg/mL, respectively) compared to unloaded HARF (MIC of 0.50 mg/mL). The prepared nanoparticles were found to be biocompatible when tested on human skin fibroblasts. Moreover, the wound closure percentage after 24 h of applying H/CS/PLGA NPs was found to be 94.4 ± 8.0%, compared to free HARF and blank NPs (68.20 ± 5.10 and 50.50 ± 9.40%, respectively). In conclusion, the three components of the developed nanoformulation (PLGA, chitosan, and HARF) have synergistic antibacterial and wound healing properties for the management of infected wounds.

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