3D Printed Alginate-Based Zinc Oxide Nanoparticle Scaffolds for Wound Healing

Carol M Cleetus, University of Texas at El Paso


Effective treatment of chronic wounds is essential for the prevention of infection and scar tissue formation, requiring a novel approach to address the limitations of existing options. This study utilizes Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) crosslinked alginate, a common biomaterial widely used in wound dressing, and UV activated Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) for their potential hydroxyl radical mediated antibacterial applications. ZnO NPs were synthesized by combustion method from Zinc Nitrate Hexahydrate and Sucrose. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) characterization were used to verify composition and NP size. Terephthalic Acid, used as a fluorescent probe, confirmed the generation of hydroxyl radicals from the NPs. 3D printed lattice structures and manually cast structures were studied to compare the mechanical properties and benefits of each. Swelling and degradation assays, as well as SEM imaging revealed the greater structural integrity of the 3D printed structures, with an increased porosity having potential to facilitate molecular exchange. In addition, the 3D printed ZnO NP laden alginate scaffolds indicated increased moisture retention when compared to alginate only structures using a humidity monitoring system. Antibacterial testing on Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) suggests that both 0.5% and 1% ZnO concentrations have antibacterial properties comparable to the commercially available antibiotic Erythromycin, while a Live/Dead assay confirmed viability of fibroblasts on the scaffolds. Overall, this study explores and validates the potential to develop a customizable, biocompatible, and antibacterial wound healing patch.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering|Nanotechnology

Recommended Citation

Cleetus, Carol M, "3D Printed Alginate-Based Zinc Oxide Nanoparticle Scaffolds for Wound Healing" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27995835.