Research Highlight

Care for some gum?

Biplab Das

doi:10.1038/nindia.2008.307 Published online 23 October 2008

An Indian research team has modified a gum known as sterculia in a way that it could help in drug delivery. The researchers modified the gum using an organic gel to deliver antimicrobial agents via wound dressing1.

The gum, which is the dried exudation of the Sterculia urens tree and another species of the same tree, is a polysaccharide. The researchers used poly vinyl alcohol hydrogel to tailor the gum for drug delivery. This could deliver tetracycline hydrochloride, an antimicrobial agent. Simulated studies of drug release mechanism revealed that every gram of the polymer takes 8.3 g of simulated wounds fluid and releases .820 mg of drug in the fluid.

The same gum has also been modified with methacrylic acid (MMAc) to hydrogels for use in drug delivery. With this modified gum, the researchers studied release mechanism for anti-ulcer drug (ranitidine hydrochloride) from the hydrogels.


  1. Singh, B. et al. Development of sterculia gum based wound dressings for use in drug delivery. Eur Polym. J. 44, 3222-3230 (2008)