The press service of the St. Petersburg Technical University reported that university scientists have created a biodegradable hydrogel based on cellulose waste from agricultural enterprises for the treatment of wounds.
The department notes that the hydrogel, which was invented by university scientists in collaboration with scientists from the Institute of Macromolecular Compounds, differs from others in that it does not contain toxic substances, since it consists only of natural materials.
“Most of the hydrogels that exist today are synthetic and contain toxic ingredients, and are usually made from non-renewable materials – materials based on oil. The hydrogel we created has bioecological properties and is not toxic to humans,” the report says. Alexander Michaelidi, Associate Professor at the University.
He adds that only natural, biodegradable materials derived from agricultural waste are used in the production of this hydrogel, and wood pulp is not used to reduce the burden on the environment. The technology of its production is very simple, as cellulose powder is placed in a special solution, and within seven days its molecules turn into a hydrogel, after washing the solvent is removed and a clean and transparent watery hydrogel remains. To give antibacterial properties, silver nanoparticles are added to prevent irritation. Cellulose also has the ability to absorb impurities in the wound.
The innovators hope that with the help of this hydrogel it is possible not only to treat wounds and burns, but also to produce implants, smart capsules for the delivery of active substances in targeted drug therapy.
The hydrogel can be produced directly in farms, where it can also be used to retain moisture in the soil and deliver fertilizer to plant roots.