Setareh Jahandideh

Will cotton waste stalks accelerate wound healing?

May 17, 2019

Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) extracted from cotton might be proper sources for making dressing material that can speed up the wound healing process, a new study shows. 

In this study, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were extracted from waste cotton stalks and then incorporated into electrospun gelatin nanofibers. The results were nanocomposites that may speed up wound healing process, yet further studies are needed before making a firm conclusion, said researcher, Ahmad Hivechi. 

Hivechi conducted the research in collaboration with Hajir Bahrami in Amirkabir University of Technology. 

According to Hivechi, the resulted nanofibers can be directly used as a dressing for wounds, or it can be incorporated into sterile gauze. 


 What are the advantages of this new dressing? 

“The advantage of this wound dressing material, over other materials, is that it has a high rate of biodegradability. It means that the dressing material would be quicker in absorbing into the skin,” said Hivechi. 

The material contains Polycaprolactone (PCL) that is a highly biodegradable polyester, he added. 

The incentive behind this research is to enhance the industrial use, and accordingly, the revenue from cotton produced in Iran.


But does it mean that the material can make the wound heal faster? Or it means that only the dressing would be absorbed faster. 

It can make the healing faster, he said, but we need to do more studies. 

“The research so far has showed that the material increases cell adhesion and cell growth rate,” he said. 

“When tested on lab rats, the wounds that had not been healed in 14 days, got healed in seven days.”

“However, we need to do tests on bigger animals, and then human, before making any conclusion.”

“There are some questions that we still need to answer. Are CNCs ideal for using in medical engineering? Is there any risk that they might be toxic to cells (Cytotoxicity)? Or are there going to be any long-term side effects on the body?” 

“If the results were satisfactory, we can think about the industrial production.”

What motivated this research?  

“The incentive behind this research is to enhance the industrial use, and accordingly, the revenue from cotton produced in Iran.”

“We used the waste stalks of cotton harvested in Golestan province; Golestan used to be among the biggest suppliers of cotton in the country, but unfortunately the production has decreased,” said Hivechi heartily who himself was born in Golestan. 

Parts of this research, including cell culture, drug delivery and modeling were done in University of Minnesota in collaboration with Professor Ronald A. Siegel. 

The in vivo tests were carried out in Iran University of Medical Sciences in collaboration with Dr. Peiman Brouki Milan.

SJ/MQ/MG