There are many factors that delay healing in chronic wounds including lowering level of growth factors and increasing exudate level comprising high amount of tissue destructive enzymes. Asiaticoside possesses interesting wound healing and angiogenic activities that are employed to stimulate tissue regeneration in wound healing application. This study attempted to develop chitosan-aluminum monostearate (Alst) composite sponge containing asiaticoside for use as an absorbent medical dressing in chronic wound. N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) was used to enhance homogeneity of asiaticoside in the polymer composite matrix. The sponge dressings were prepared by lyophilization and dehydrothermal treatment (DHT). Functional group interaction, crystallinity, and morphology of the prepared sponges were investigated using FT-IR, PXRD, and SEM, respectively. Physicochemical properties, porosity, hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties and mechanical property, were evaluated. Wound dressing properties, water vapor transmission rate (WVTR), fluid absorbency, oxygen permeation (OP), and bio-adhesive property, were investigated. In vitro asiaticoside release study was conducted using immersion method. Cytotoxicity was studied in normal human dermal fibroblast (NHDF) and normal human epidermal keratinocyte (NHEK). Angiogenic activity of asiaticoside was evaluated using chick-chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. FT-IR and PXRD results revealed the amidation after DHT to enhance the crystallinity of the prepared sponges. The prepared sponges had high porosity comprising high Alst-loaded amount that exhibited more compact structure. Alst enhanced hydrophobicity therefore it reduced the fluid absorption and WVTR together with bio-adhesion of the prepared sponge dressings. Porosity of all sponges was more than 85% therefore resulting in their high OP. Enhancing hydrophobicity of the material by Alst and more homogeneity caused by NMP eventually retarded the asiaticoside release for 7 days. The sponge extractions were non-toxic to the cells moreover they promoted NHDF and NHEK cell proliferation. Asiaticoside and asiaticoside-contained dressings exhibited dose-dependent angiogenic activity in CAM model.
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