Chronic Wound Care: Lawsone-Infused Bioactive Dressings for Enhanced Healing, Infection Prevention, and Scar Minimization

The prevalence of chronic and infection-prone wounds presents a significant challenge in medical care. Traditional wound dressings, while effective for basic wound management, often fall short in addressing the complexities of these types of wounds. There is a growing need for innovative solutions that not only protect the wound but also actively contribute to the healing process, especially in the face of rising antibiotic resistance and the unique challenges posed by conditions like diabetes.


Gauze Credit: James Heilman, MD

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Lawsone: A Natural Solution for Advanced Wound Care

Using lawsone, a red-orange compound found in henna leaves, and taking advantage of its antioxidant and antibacterial properties to develop new dressings that fight infection and speed up healing, a team of bioengineers from Cornell University documented in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics a dressing that is particularly suitable for treating chronic wounds that are highly susceptible to infection, such as burns and diabetic wounds.

Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, this new 100% natural dressing is also suitable for more common wounds, with the added benefit of reducing fibrosis or scarring.

Cotton, nanofibers and lawsone

Cotton gauze is one of the most common materials used in dressings; it’s cheap, easily available, comfortable and biocompatible. “But this material doesn’t promote healing or fight infection,” points out lead author Mohsen Alishahi, a fiber science expert at NanoFibTex: “On its own, it can’t respond to these complications and that’s why cotton needs to be bio-functionalized.”

So the team developed functional fibers from cotton and used lawsone, the pigment from henna leaves that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, to improve the cotton’s performance.

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First proof of efficacy: tested on cell cultures and animal models, the experimental patch confirms excellent antibacterial performance against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial species and manages to eradicate E. coli and Staphylococcus bacteria.

This new range of dressings demonstrates several important properties: antibacterial, healing and anti-scarring. These results are particularly important in light of the increasing prevalence of chronic wounds and multi-resistant bacteria.

Final Thoughts

The integration of lawsone in wound dressings could be a game-changer, especially in fields like plastic surgery, where minimizing scarring is crucial. Its potential extends to treating diabetic ulcers and burn wounds, offering a more efficient healing process. This advancement is not just a scientific achievement; it’s a practical solution addressing real-world medical challenges.

Read Also: Skin-Printing System Could Make Healing of Deep, Large Wounds Faster


Abadehie, F. S., Alishahi, M., Chowdhury, R., Altier, C., Shen, H., & Uyar, T. (2024). Functionalization of cotton nonwoven with cyclodextrin/lawsone inclusion complex nanofibrous coating for antibacterial wound dressing. International Journal of Pharmaceutics.



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