AAPS PharmSciTech

, 20:29 | Cite as

Systematic Evaluation of a Diclofenac-Loaded Carboxymethyl Cellulose-Based Wound Dressing and Its Release Performance with Changing pH and Temperature

  • Tina MaverEmail author
  • Lidija Gradišnik
  • Dragica Maja Smrke
  • Karin Stana KleinschekEmail author
  • Uroš MaverEmail author
Research Article


Development of drug-loaded wound dressings is often performed without systematic consideration of the changing wound environment that can influence such materials’ performance. Among the crucial changes are the wound pH and temperature, which have an immense effect on the drug release. Detailed release studies based on the consideration of these changing properties provide an important aspect of the in vitro performance testing of novel wound dressing materials. A sodium carboxymethyl cellulose-based wound dressing, with the incorporated non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, was developed and characterised in regard to its physico-chemical, structural and morphological properties. Further, the influence of pH and temperature were studied on the drug release. Finally, the biocompatibility of the wound dressing towards human skin cells was tested. Incorporation of diclofenac did not alter important properties (water retention value, air permeability) of the host material. Changes in the pH and temperature were shown to influence the release performance and have to be accounted for in the evaluation of such dressings. Furthermore, the knowledge about the potential changes of these parameters in the wound bed could be used potentially to predict, and potentially even to control the drug release from the developed wound dressing. The prepared wound dressing was also proven biocompatible towards human skin cells, making it interesting for potential future use in the clinics.


wound care controlled drug release pH change temperature change diclofenac 



Advanced Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium




Attenuated total reflectance-infrared


Diclofenac sodium


Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s Medium


Fetal bovine serum


Aneuploid immortal keratinocyte cell line


(3(4,5 dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide


Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose


Non-steroid anti-inflammatory pain-killing drugs


Phosphate buffer solution


Scanning electron microscopy


Human skin fibroblasts





The authors acknowledge Prof. Dr. Elsa Fabbretti for kindly providing us HACAT cells.

Funding Information

This study received financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency for Research Core Funding No. P2-0118, P3-0036 and P3-0371 and the financial support through Project No. Z2-8168.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Laboratory for Characterization and Processing of PolymersUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine, Department of PharmacologyUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Maribor, Institute of Biomedical SciencesMariborSlovenia
  4. 4.University Medical Centre LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  5. 5.Graz University of TechnologyGrazAustria

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