Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Polymeric composite material with antimicrobial and biodegradable properties

Biodegradable and antisepticComposite polymer materialIodopovidoneMedical deviceSodium alginate


Composite material for the production of an antiseptic medical device consisting of or comprising an alginate matrix in which the iodopovidone complex (PVPI) is dispersed. PVPI is a water-soluble complex widely used for its bactericidal and fungicidal properties, it is applied to open wounds/infected regions and also internally, for example on burns, large wounds, deep tissues or mucous membranes. The new composite material will be used in particular for the production of films, micro-capsules and iodine-releasing sutures.

Technical features

The PVPI is known for its iodine properties, that is capable of complexing the iodine to release it gradually and at low concentrations, in free form. However, its rapid absorption from open wounds can cause serious toxicity problems, thus limiting surgical applications. In addition, PVPI is frequently used as an active ingredient in combination with polymeric substances, polyethylene glycol (PEG) being the most widely used. However, PEG has the disadvantage of being a non-biodegradable synthetic polymer. The purpose of this invention is to make available new medical devices with biodegradable materials suitable for the controlled release of PVPI: composite materials consisting of or including an alginate matrix (straight, not branched polysaccharides) where the iodopovidone complex is dispersed. Sodium alginate is a non-toxic, hydrophilic and biodegradable natural material, it can be absorbed without toxic effects. By combining alginate with PVPI, a synergistic effect is achieved on wounds: alginate provides a healing effect, while PVPI provides an antiseptic effect. TRL4.

Possible Applications

  • Internal and external antiseptic fillers for injuries and wounds
  • Surgical suture threads
  • Antimicrobial coatings, such as packaging materials for the food and biomedical industry
  • Purification and sterilization materials against bacterial contamination


  • Water soluble and biodegradable
  • Antiseptic, with controlled release of iodine, therefore non-toxic
  • Versatile: the material, in addition to including alginate and PVPI, can be combined with at least one other substance that can alter its mechanical properties.