A Novel In Situ Self-Dissolving Needle Web Based on Medicated Cellulose Hollow Fibres with Drug Delivery Features

Dirk Hoefer 1, *, Gregor Hohn1, Nadja Berner-Dannenmann 1, Thomas Schulze2, Frank-Gunther Niemz2, Timo R. Hammer 1
Hohenstein Institutes Schlosssteige 1, 74357 Boennigheim, Germany.

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© 2011 Hoefer et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Correspondence: * Address correspondence to this author at the Hohenstein Institutes Schlosssteige 1, 74357 Boennigheim, Germany. Tel: +4971 43271 432; Fax: +4971 43271 94432; E-mail:


Medicated wound dressings incorporate chemicals which have therapeutic value. The objective of this study was to investigate the in vitro model drug release from a biodegradable needle web, based on medicated cellulosic hollow fibres, which self-dissolve in the presence of aqueous solutions.

Cellulose hollow fibres were prepared by a standard dry-wet phase inversion spinning process. Dressings were made using established techniques in the nonwoven industry. Two sets of hollow fibres were filled with different drug solutions: One set contained the enzyme cellulase and the second set was filled with either antibacterial Pseudomonas aeruginosaspecific bacteriophages, or the wound debriding enzyme Krillase®. Both fibre sets were freeze-dried to (i) inactivate the spontaneous biodegradation of the fibres by cellulase and (ii) to preserve the wound healing activities of the biotherapeutic model drugs. Needle webs containing different mixing ratios of the two sets of hollow fibres were made. Whereas bacteriophages were released after rewetting the webs in in-vitro experiments with high burst effect, Krillase® showed a sustained drug release over 20 h, which was found to be dependent on the mixing ratio of cellulase versus Krillase®-hollow fibres. Possible release mechanisms and therapeutic benefits are discussed.

In summary, needle webs of medicated cellulosic hollow fibres are a new self-dissolving drug delivery system.

Keywords: Bacteriophages, Biotherapy, Cellulase, Chronic wounds, Krillase®, Viscose, Wound dressing..