Bio-artificial polymeric systems are a new class of polymeric constituents based on blends of synthetic and natural polymers, designed with the purpose of producing new materials that exhibit enhanced properties with respect to the individual components. In this frame, a combination of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and chitosan, blended with a widely used antibiotic, sodium ampicillin, has been developed showing a moderate behavior in terms of antibacterial properties. Thus, aqueous solutions of PVA at 1 wt.% were mixed with acid solutions of chitosan at 1 wt.%, followed by adding ampicillin ranging from 0.3 to 1.0 wt.% related to the total amount of the polymers. The prepared bio-artificial polymeric system was characterized by FTIR, SEM, DSC, contact angle measurements, antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus
and Escherichia coli
and antibiotic release studies. The statistical significance of the antibacterial activity was determined using a multifactorial analysis of variance with ρ < 0.05 (ANOVA). The characterization techniques did not show alterations in the ampicillin structure and the interactions with polymers were limited to intermolecular forces. Therefore, the antibiotic was efficiently released from the matrix and its antibacterial activity was preserved. The system disclosed moderate antibacterial activity against bacterial strains without adding a high antibiotic concentration. The findings of this study suggest that the system may be effective against healthcare-associated infections, a promising view in the design of novel antimicrobial biomaterials potentially suitable for tissue engineering applications.
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