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Bio-inspired Aloe Vera Sponges For Biomedical Applications.

S. Silva, M. Oliveira, J.F. Mano, R.L. Reis
Published 2014 · Chemistry, Medicine
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Chemical composition and biological properties of Aloe vera (AV), a tropical plant, explain its potential use for cosmetic, nutritional and biomedical applications. AV gel present in AV leaves is rich in several compounds, nutrients and polysaccharides. This work proposes using AV gel complex structure and chemical composition, associated with freeze-drying, to produce sponges. To increase the structures stability in aqueous media, a thin coating of gellan gum (GG), was applied onto AV gel. AV-based sponges showed a heterogeneous porous formation, interconnected pores and good porosity (72-77%). The coating with a GG layer onto AV influenced the stability, swelling behavior and mechanical properties of the resulting sponges. Moreover, sponges provided the sustained release of BSA-FTIC, used as a model protein, over 3 weeks. Also, in vitro cell culture studies evidenced that sponges are not cytotoxic for a mouse fibroblast-like cell line. Therefore, developed AV-based sponges have potential use in biomedical applications.
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