Cross-linked collagen sponges loaded with plant polyphenols with inhibitory activity towards chronic wound enzymes



Collagen sponges loaded with polyphenols from Hamamelis virginiana were investigated as active materials for chronic wound dressings, evaluating in vitro the inhibition of two major enzymes that impair the wound healing process – myeloperoxidase (MPO) and collagenase. Prior to polyphenols loading, collagen was cross-linked with genipin to improve its biostability. The effect of genipin cross-linking and polyphenol concentration in the development of mechanically and enzymatically stable sponges was studied. The tensile strength of the cross-linked collagen increased with the increase of the cross-linking degree, coupled to decrease in the elongation and the swelling capacity of the sponges. The stability of the sponges to collagenase digestion reached maximum when 1 mM genipin was used. However, the biostability decreased more than 10-fold after loading the sponges with polyphenols (0.5 mg/mL), nevertheless, this effect was partially overcome using higher concentration of polyphenols (1 and 2 mg/mL) to inhibit collagenase. Moreover, the polyphenols released from the sponges were sufficient for complete inhibition of MPO activity. No considerable cytotoxicity of the genipin cross-linked collagen loaded with polyphenols was observed evaluating the NIH 3T3 fibroblasts viability.