In this study, nanofibers composed of Opuntia cochenillifera nopal mucilage (N) extract combined with chitosan (CH) and pullulan (PL) (N/CH/PL) were produced via Forcespinning®. The developed nonwoven composite membranes are comprised of long, continuous, and homogenous fibers with fiber average diameter varying between 251±77 nm and 406±127 nm depending on the concentration of N. After crosslinking, the developed membranes were highly stable in water. The water absorption capacity of the N/CH/PL composite nanofiber membranes was shown to be 65% higher when compared to the CH/PL nanofiber membranes. Nopal dipcoated membranes show inhibition of gram-negative Escherichia coli, indicating antibacterial properties. These findings suggest that the incorporation of naturally-derived nopal extract into nanofiber systems could provide a natural alternative for dressings used in wound healing applications.
Rodriguez, C., Padilla, V., Lozano, K., McDonald, A., Materon, L., Chapa, A., Ahmad, F., De Leo, C.T. and Gilkerson, R. (2021), Fabrication of Forcespinning® nanofibers incorporating nopal extract. Polym Int, 70: 679-686. https://doi.org/10.1002/pi.6163