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Electronic Journal of Biotechnology ISSN: 0717-3458  
© 2012 by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso -- Chile  

Evaluation of antimicrobial activity and cell viability of Aloe vera sponges

Sávio Morato de Lacerda Gontijo, Alinne Damásia Martins Gomes, Alfonso Gala-García, Rubén Dario Sinisterra, Maria Esperanza Cortés


Background: Aloe vera L., member of the Liliaceae family, has been shown to stimulate cell proliferation and contribute to healing and angiogenesis, has activity anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. In addition, Aloe vera can be used as a matrix for drug transport. Our objective is evaluating matrix-based freeze-dried Aloe vera L. has potential for use as a support for drugs used in bone tissue engineering. Results: In this work, matrix of free Aloe vera (AV), or loaded with amoxicillin (AMX) or nystatin (NYS) at 1% w/w, were prepared and physico-chemically characterized via X-ray diffraction, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and thermal analysis. We then determined the antimicrobial potency of AVmatrix alone, loaded with AMX or NYS, against strains of Streptococcus mutans, Staphylococcus aureus, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans. Osteoblasts and human gingival fibroblasts were cultivated on AV, AV/AMX and AV/NYS and cellular viability was assessed. The physico-chemical characterization performed suggested that the loaded drugs were dispersed in the matrix and those interactions between the AV matrix and the loaded drugs were weak. Furthermore, AV loaded with AMX or NYS demonstrated antimicrobial potency and, osteoblasts and fibroblasts were viable after 24 h on free AV, and AV loaded with AMX or NYS. Conclusions: Our results indicate that matrix of free AV, loaded with AMX or NYS, has potential for use in bone tissue applications.