: Chronic skin wounds affect more than 40 million patients worldwide, representing a huge problem for healthcare systems. This study elucidates the optimization of an in situ gelling polymer blend powder for biomedical applications through the use of co-solvents and functional excipients, underlining the possibility of tailoring microparticulate powder properties to generate, in situ, hydrogels with advanced properties that are able to improve wound management and patient well-being. The blend was composed of alginate, pectin, and chitosan (APC). Various co-solvents (ethanol, isopropanol, and acetone), and salt excipients (sodium bicarbonate and ammonium carbonate) were used to modulate the gelation kinetics, rheology, adhesiveness, and water vapor transmission rate of the gels. The use of co-solvents significantly influenced particle size (mean diameter ranging from 2.91 to 5.05 µm), depending on the solvent removal rate. Hydrogels obtained using ethanol were able to absorb over 15 times their weight in simulated wound fluid within just 5 min, whereas when sodium bicarbonate was used, complete gelation was achieved in less than 30 s. Such improvement was related to the internal microporous network typical of the particle matrix obtained with the use of co-solvents, whereas sodium bicarbonate was able to promote the formation of allowed particles. Specific formulations demonstrated an optimal water vapor transmission rate, enhanced viscoelastic properties, gel stiffness, and adhesiveness (7.7 to 9.9 kPa), facilitating an atraumatic removal post-use with minimized risk of unintended removal. Microscopic analysis unveiled that porous inner structures were influencing fluid uptake, gel formation, and transpiration. In summary, this study provided valuable insights for optimizing tailored APC hydrogels as advanced wound dressings for chronic wounds, including vascular ulcers, pressure ulcers, and partial and full-thickness wounds, characterized by a high production of exudate.
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