Ashley Cox Parker, Cheyenne Rhodes, Jessica Amber Jennings, Lauren Hittle, Mark Shirtliff, Joel D. Bumgardner and Warren O. Haggard
This research investigated the combination of polyethylene glycol with chitosan in point-of-care loaded sponges made by one or two lyophilizations for adjunctive local antifungal delivery in musculoskeletal wounds. Blended and control chitosan sponges were evaluated in vitro for antifungal release and activity, degradation, cytocompatibility, and characterized for spectroscopic, crystallinity, thermal, and morphologic material properties. In vivo biocompatibility and degradation of sponges were also evaluated in a rat intramuscular pouch model 4 and 10 days after implantation. Blended sponges released amphotericin B active against Candida albicans (>0.25 µg/mL) over 72 h and did not elicit cytotoxicity response of fibroblasts. Blended sponges exhibited decreases in surface roughness, decreased thermal decomposition temperatures, as well as small Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and crystallinity differences, compared with chitosan-only sponges. Three of the four blended sponge formulations exhibited 31%–94% increases in in vitro degradation from the chitosan sponges after 10 days, but did not demonstrate the same increase in in vivo degradation. Low inflammatory in vivo tissue response to blended and chitosan-only sponges was similar over 10 days. These results demonstrated that adding polyethylene glycol to chitosan sponges does improve local antifungal release, cytocompatibility, and in vitro degradation, but does not increase in vivo degradation.