Electrospun Bioactive Wound Dressing containing Phospholipid stabilized Nanodispersions of a Birch Bark Dry Extract

Prof. Dr. R . Daniels1), University Tuebingen/Germany

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Prof. Dr. Rolf DanielsInstitute of Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Tuebingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 8, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

People involved

Francis-Kamau Mwiiri, M.Sc. (PhD fellow sponsored by the PRC) - University of Tuebingen, Germany (francis-kamau.mwiiri@uni-tuebingen.de)


The human skin serves as a barrier between the body and the environment. Therefore, it is prone to microbial, thermal, mechanical, and chemical threats which can cause acute or chronic wounds. Triterpenes from the outer bark of birch are known for various pharmacological effects including enhanced wound healing.1)2) Polymeric nanofibers made from biodegradable and biocompatible synthetic or natural polymers have been utilized to develop drug delivery systems to treat various diseases, and one of the potential areas to use them is medicated wound dressing.3)4) Hence, our main aim in this work is to use birch bark dry extract which has been recently clinically proved to speed up wound healing and develop a bioactive nanofiber wound dressing. Sub-micron oil-in-water (o/w) emulsions containing the active substance birch bark dry extract will first be produced via a high-pressure homogenization process and lecithin-based phospholipids as emulsifiers. Consequently, the emulsions will be blended with commercially available biodegradable and biocompatible polymers to form nanofibers intended for wound therapy using electrospinning technology. The influence of preparation processes and emulsion compositions (polymer/birch bark dry extract/phospho­lipid/sunflower oil) towards the drug release behavior of the scaffolds, together with their structural morphology as well as surface and thermal properties will be evaluated.5)6)7)

The main aim of this study is to develop a bioactive wound dressing by incorporating a sub-micron dispersion of phospholipid-stabilized birch bark dry extract into polymeric sub-micron fibers through electrospinning for wound therapy.

Benefit for the community

Current research studies reveal that birch cork extract accelerate wound healing. The developed nanopolymer-based birch bark dry extract wound dressing is expected to have a controlled drug release for about 5 days. This would be very beneficial especially for patients with chronic wounds like those of diabetic ulcers or serious burns whether in hospitals or at home leading to an efficient wound therapy with less frequent dressing changes and, hence, a better patient adherence.

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Ebeling S, Naumann K, Pollok S, Wardecki T, Vidal-Y-Sy S, Nascimento JM, Boerries M, Schmidt G, Brandner JM, Merfort I, 2014
From a Traditional Medicinal Plant to a Rational Drug: Understanding the Clinically Proven Wound Healing Efficacy of Birch Bark Extract
PLoS ONE 9, e86147
Scheffler A, 2019
The Wound Healing Properties of Betulin from Birch Bark from Bench to Bedside
Planta Med. 85, 524-527
Boateng JS, Matthews KH, Stevens HNE, Eccleston GM, 2008
Wound Healing Dressings and Drug Delivery Systems: A Review
J. Pharm. Sci. 97, 2892-2923
Zahedi P, Rezaeian I, Ranaei‐Siadat SO, Jafari SH, Supaphol P, 2010
A review on wound dressings with an emphasis on electrospun nanofibrous polymeric bandages
Polym. Adv. Technol. 21, 77-95
Nikmaram N, Roohinejad S, Hashemi S, Koubaa M, Barba FJ, Abbaspourradf A, Greinerb R, 2017
Emulsion-based systems for fabrication of electrospun nanofibers: Food, pharmaceutical and biomedical applications
RSC Advances 7, 28951-28964
Broniatowski M, Flasiński M, Wydro P, 2012
Investigation of the interactions of lupane type pentacyclic triterpenes with outer leaflet membrane phospholipids – Langmuir monolayer and synchrotron X-ray scattering study
J. Colloid Interf. Sci. 381, 116-124
Abboud R, Charcosset C, Greige-Gerges H, 2016
Tetra- and Penta-Cyclic Triterpenes Interaction with Lipid Bilayer Membrane: A Structural Comparative Study
J. Membr. Biol. 249, 327-338
Publications derived from the project:
Mwiiri FK, Daniels R, 2020
Electrospun nanofibers for biomedical applications
In Delivery of Drugs, Volume 2: Expectations and Realities of Multifunctional Drug Delivery Systems. Elsevier: Amsterdam, 53-74
Mwiiri FK, Brandner JM, Daniels R, 2020
Electrospun Bioactive Wound Dressing Containing Colloidal Dispersions of Birch Bark Dry Extract
Pharmaceutics 12, 770
Mwiiri FK, Daniels R, 2020
Optimized Birch Bark Extract-Loaded Colloidal Dispersion Using Hydrogenated Phospholipids as Stabilizer
Pharmaceutics 12, 832
Mwiiri FK, Daniels R, 2020
Influence of PVA Molecular Weight and Concentration on Electrospinnability of Birch Bark Extract-Loaded Nanofibrous Scaffolds Intended for Enhanced Wound Healing
Molecules 25, 4799
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