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Lobachevsky University scientists together with their colleagues from the Privolzhsky Research Medical University, the Ogarev State University of Mordovia and the Semashko Regional Clinical Hospital in Nizhny Novgorod have recently published a paper in the journal Nanomaterials (дать ссылку)  proposing mechanisms to develop novel nanocomposites of bacterial cellulose (BC) and betulin diphosphate (BDP) pre-impregnated into the surface of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) for producing wound dressings.

Biodegradable materials biocompatible with body tissues based on bacterial cellulose (BC) for treatment of skin diseases, burns and wounds of various etiology are currently of great interest. The need for these materials is due to their bactericidal action, their ability to absorb large amounts of exudate and remove unwanted products from the wound, as well as their ability to immobilise active pharmaceutical ingredients (antibiotics, steroid hormones, etc.) in the bacterial cellulose matrix.

Biologically active substances that promote collagen production, such as pentacyclic triterpenoids, including betulinic acid derivatives, are important in the treatment of burns. Scientists have previously shown in experiments on rats and mice that betulin diphosphate (BDP) exhibits antitumour, antioxidant and anti-burn properties.

In this study, a nanosized BC hydrogel film was shown to be a promising matrix for the sorption of the antiburn components of BDP and BDP-modified ZnO nanoparticles. Zinc oxide nanoparticles protected by BDP do not aggregate in both the individual state and in the nanocomposite. Moreover, zinc ions release and cell survival results are the arguments for the decrease in the protein corona formation on the surfaces of ZnO nanoparticles.

The results of biological studies carried out on rats (wound area, improved healing, biochemical parameters and microcirculation, morphological pattern) indirectly confirm the prospects for medical use of ZnO nanoparticles modified with betulin diphosphate as a component of nanocomposites.

In general, prerequisites have been created for high stability and uniformity of the final BC-Zn NPs-BDP nanomaterial. The cell viability data obtained show that the BC -Zn NPs - BDP nanocomposite toxicity is reduced due to the protection of zinc oxide nanoparticles by the BDP modification. It was found that BC - Zn Nps - BDP demonstrated a set of properties necessary for wound dressings to treat burns in in vivo experiments.

These coatings can accelerate wound healing due to the inclusion of several mechanisms: regulation of oxygenation and microcirculation, reduction of hypoxia in a burn wound, reduction of oxidative stress resulting from the development of burn disease, and activation of antioxidant enzymatic protection.