Graphene Scaffolds: A Striking Approach to Combat Dermatophytosis
Exclusive physicochemical and biological properties of carbon allotrope graphene have attracted the peer attention of researchers for the synthesis and development of newer topical remedies including films, scaffolds, microspheres, and hydrogels. Here, graphene nanoplatelets (GN) were embedded into a different ratio of polymeric ERL100/ERS100 solution and fabricated in the form of a scaffold through the electrospinning process. FTIR spectra displayed characteristic similar peaks present both in GN and GN-loaded scaffold owing to the compatibility of GN and polymeric mixture. XRD curve revealed a distinct GN peak at nearly 26° whereas from DSC/TGA thermal stability was observed between polymers and graphene nanoplatelets. FESEM images showed ultrathin architecture of GN-loaded scaffold in a range of 280 ± 90 nm. The fabricated scaffold exhibited hydrophilicity (contact angle 48.8 ± 2.8°) and desirable swelling index (646% in skin pH media) which were desired criteria for the scaffold for topical application. In vitro, antifungal activity was conducted through the broth microdilution method against different virulent dermatophytes i.e., Microsporum gypseum , M. canis , M. fulvum , and Trychophyton rubrum . For in vivo evaluation, T. rubrum inoculum was applied on the dorsal surface of each group of Swiss albino mice, and the degree and intensity of mycelial growth or erythema on skin surfaces was visually investigated. The study depicted complete signs of cure after 14 days of application of G3-loaded scaffold on the infected dorsal site. Hence graphene-loaded scaffold represented a possible alternative for the treatment of topical fungal infections caused by dermatophytes.