Recently developed medicated dressings target either bacterial or fungal infection only, which is not effective for the treatment of mixed infections common in diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). This study aims to develop advanced bioactive alginate-based dressings (films and wafers) to deliver therapeutically relevant doses of ciprofloxacin (CIP) and fluconazole (FLU) to target mixed bacterial and fungal infections in DFUs. The alginate compatibility with the drugs was confirmed by SEM, XRD, FTIR and texture analysis, while the medicated wafers showed better fluid handling properties than the films in the presence of simulated wound fluid. The dressings showed initial fast release of FLU followed by sustained release of CIP which completely eradicated E. coli, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa and reduced fungal load (C. albicans) by 10-fold within 24 h. Moreover, the medicated dressings were biocompatible (> 70% cell viability over 72 h) with human primary adult keratinocytes and in-vitro scratch assay showed 65-68% wound closure within 7 days.
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