Crosslinked hydrogel loaded with chitosan-supported iron oxide and silver nanoparticles as burn wound dressing

Pharm Dev Technol. 2023 Dec;28(10):962-977. doi: 10.1080/10837450.2023.2278613. Epub 2023 Dec 18.


Burns can result in infection, disability, psychosocial and economic issues. Advanced wound dressings like hydrogel absorb exudate and maintain moisture. Considering the antimicrobial properties of silver nanoparticles and iron oxide nanoparticles, the efficiency of cross-linked hydrogel loaded with chitosan-supported iron oxide and silver nanoparticles for burn wounds repair was investigated in animal model. Cellulose hydrogel dressing made from carboxymethylcellulose and hydroxyethylcellulose crosslinked with different concentrations of citric acid (10, 15, 20, and 30%) was produced. The physicochemical characteristics of the synthetized hydrogels including Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy, Thermal behavior, Swelling properties, and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) were evaluated. The silver nanoparticles and iron nanoparticles were produced and the characteristics, cytotoxicity, antimicrobial activities and their synergistic effect were investigated. After adding nanoparticles to hydrogels, the effects of the prepared wound dressings were investigated in a 14-day animal model of burn wound. The results showed that the mixture comprising 12.5 ppm AgNps, and IONPs at a concentration ≤100 ppm was non-cytotoxic. Moreover, the formulations with 20% CA had a swelling ratio of almost 250, 340, and 500 g/g at pHs of 5, 6.2, and 7.4 after one hour, which are lower than those of formulations with 5 and 10% CA. The total mass loss (59.31%) and the exothermic degradation happened in the range of 273-335 °C and its Tm was observed at 318.52 °C for hydrogels with 20% CA. Thus, the dressing comprising 20% CA which was loaded with 12.5 ppm silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and 100 ppm iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) indicated better physicochemical, microbial and non-cytotoxic characteristics, and accelerated the process of wound healing after 14 days. It was concluded that the crosslinked hydrogel loaded with 12.5 ppm AgNPs and 100 ppm IONPs possesses great wound healing activity and could be regarded as an effective topical burn wound healing treatment.

Keywords: Burn wound; chitosan; cross-linked hydrogel; hydrogel; iron nanoparticles; silver nanoparticles.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents*
  • Bandages
  • Burns* / drug therapy
  • Burns* / metabolism
  • Chitosan* / chemistry
  • Hydrogels / chemistry
  • Metal Nanoparticles*
  • Silver / chemistry


  • Chitosan
  • Silver
  • ferric oxide
  • Hydrogels
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents