Development of innovative medical devices by dispersing fatty acid eutectic blend on gauzes using supercritical particle generation processes.


3B's Research Group-Biomaterials, Biodegradable and Biomimetic, University of Minho, Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Avepark 4805-017 Barco, Guimarães, Portugal; ICVS/3B's PT Government Associated Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Portugal. Electronic address: [Email]


In order to limit bacterial infections during wound treatment, it is interesting to consider the concept of loading medical devices with antibacterial agents. With this in mind, an innovative system with thermosensitive properties was produced: loading a commercially available gauze with a fatty acid eutectic blend based on lauric acid (LA) and myristic acid (MA). This eutectic blend presents a melting point near physiological temperature, which together with its antibacterial properties make an appealing alternative in biomedical applications. At room temperature, the properties and the efficacy of the eutectic blend loaded onto gauzes are preserved, whereas at physiological temperature the eutectic blend undergoes a phase change that facilitates its diffusion from the gauze. The loading of the eutectic blend onto gauzes was performed using two different supercritical fluid technologies, namely, particle from gas saturated solutions (PGSS) and a derived version of rapid expansion of supercritical solution (D-RESS). The PGSS led to a heterogeneous dispersion of the eutectic blend in the gauze, whereas the D-RESS process led to the formation of a homogeneous dispersion along the surface of the gauze. Additionally, with D-RESS no phase separation of the eutectic blend occurred and the cytotoxicity was greatly improved compared with PGSS without compromising the antibacterial properties of the fatty acid eutectic blend. Hence, the present study highlights the potential use of the flexible D-RESS process to load the fatty acid eutectic blend with antibacterial properties onto medical devices in a controllable way. Overall, the effects produced by the loaded gauzes suggest the enormous potential of the developed technology in health-related areas.


Antibacterial,D-RESS,Eutectic mixture,Fatty acids,PGSS,Thermosensitive devices,

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