Synthesis and Characterization of Cassava Gum Hydrogel Associated with Chlorhexidine and Evaluation of Release and Antimicrobial Activity

Macromol Biosci. 2024 Feb 8:e2300507. doi: 10.1002/mabi.202300507. Online ahead of print.


Hydrogels from natural sources are attracting increasing interest due to their ability to protect biologically active molecules. Starch extracted from cassava tubers is a promising material for synthesizing these hydrogels. Copolymerization of cassava gum and incorporation of chlorhexidine digluconate (CLX) into the hydrogels is confirmed by changes in the crystallographic profile, as observed through X-ray diffraction, and a shift in the 1000 cm-1 band in the Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy spectrum. The differential scanning calorimetry reveals changes in the decomposition temperature of the synthesized hydrogels related to CLX volatility. Micrographs illustrate the material's porosity. Release tests indicate a constant linear release over 72 h, while antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans is satisfactory, with 100% effectiveness from 0.5% CLX and the formation of inhibition halos. Toxicity and biocompatibility studies show no cytotoxicity. The continuous release of chlorhexidine is promising for components of biomedical implants and applications as it can ensure antimicrobial action according to specific therapeutic needs.

Keywords: antimicrobial activity assessment; biomaterial; drug delivery; polysaccharide.