Susceptibility of Stingless Bee, Giant Bee and Asian Bee Honeys Incorporated Cellulose Hydrogels in Treating Wound Infection

Rathosivan Gopal, Alex Zhen Kai Lo, Masuriani Masrol, Chian-Hui Lai, Norhidayu Muhamad Zain, Syafiqah Saidin


Wound healing and wound management are among challenging clinical problems, despite the advancement in medical technology and research. Honey is one of the natural products, synthesized by honey bees that exhibits great antibacterial and medicinal properties. Incorporation of honey into modern dressing materials such as cellulose hydrogel is beneficial to anticipate cell proliferation while preventing infection in a wound region. This study reports the fabrication of honey cellulose hydrogels for reliable alternative treatment of wound infection. The cellulose hydrogels were incorporated with three types of mainland Southeast Asia honeys of stingless bee, giant bee and Asian bee, independently. Each hydrogel was subjected to ATR-FTIR analysis for the determination of chemical composition. The antibacterial properties of honey hydrogels were evaluated through zone inhibition and colony count tests against Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The cytocompatibility of the honey hydrogels was then evaluated through MTT assay and cell scratch assay with human skin fibroblast cells. The composition of honey and cellulose hydrogel were verified with the appearances of fingerprint bandwidth and identical peaks of both compounds, respectively. The giant bee honey hydrogels produced the highest bacterial retardation through both antibacterial tests. The stingless bee honey hydrogels projected susceptibility towards E. coli while the Asian bee honey hydrogels projected susceptibility towards S. aureus. Among these three variations of honey hydrogels, the in-vitro cytocompatibility analyses testified the greatest cell viability and cell migration on the stingless bee honey hydrogels compared to the Asian bee honey hydrogels, giant bee honey hydrogels and control hydrogels. The findings support the potential of honey hydrogels as a reliable alternative treatment for wound infection.


Honey; Hydrogel; Antibacterial; Wound Healing

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