Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) is a novel nanomaterial known for its large surface area, biocompatibility, and non-toxicity. BNC contributes to regenerative processes in the skin but lacks antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Herein, the development of bioactive wound dressings by loading antibacterial povidone-iodine (PVI) or anti-inflammatory acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) into bacterial cellulose is presented. BNC is produced using Hestrin–Schramm culture media and loaded via immersion in PVI and ASA. Through scanning electron microscopy, BNC reveals open porosity where the bioactive compounds are loaded; the mechanical tests show that the dressing prevents mechanical wear. The loading kinetic and release assays (using the Franz cell method) under simulated fluids present a maximum loading of 589.36 mg PVI/g BNC and 38.61 mg ASA/g BNC, and both systems present a slow release profile at 24 h. Through histology, the complete diffusion of the bioactive compounds is observed across the layers of porcine skin. Finally, in the antimicrobial experiment, BNC/PVI produced an inhibition halo for Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, confirming the antibacterial activity. Meanwhile, the protein denaturation test shows effective anti-inflammatory activity in BNC/ASA dressings. Accordingly, BNC is a suitable platform for the development of bioactive wound dressings, particularly those with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
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