Aloe vera is a perennial plant employed for medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes that is rich in amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and polysaccharides, which are responsible for its therapeutic properties. Incorporating these properties into a biopolymer film obtained from alginate and chitosan allowed the development of a novel wound dressing with antibacterial capacity and healing effects to integrate the antibacterial capacity of silver nanoparticles with the healing and emollient properties of Aloe vera gel. Three alginate-chitosan matrices were obtained through blending methods using different proportions of alginate, chitosan, the Aloe vera (AV) gel and silver nanoparticles (AgNps), which were incorporated into the polymeric system through immersion methods. Physical, chemical and antibacterial characteristics were evaluated in each matrix. Interaction between alginate and chitosan was identified using the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy technique (FTIR), porosity was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), swelling degree was calculated by difference in weight, Aloe vera gel release capacity was estimated by applying a drug model (Peppas) and finally antibacterial capacity was evaluated against S. Aureus and P. aeruginosa. Results show that alginate-chitosan (A (1:3 Chit 1/Alg 1); B (1:3 Chit 1.5/Alg 1) and C (3:1 Chit 1/Alg 1/B12)) matrices with Aloe vera (AV) gel and silver nanoparticles (AgNps) described here displayed antibacterial properties and absorption and Aloe vera release capacity making it a potential wound dressing for minor injuries.
Keywords: Aloe vera; alginate; chitosan; wound dressing.