A mycelial mattress of Rhizopus stolonifer obtained from a liquid static culture was utilized for wound dressing and biomedical use. Following screening of mutants induced by UV radiation, F6, exhibiting delayed sporangium formation was selected because its sporangium maturation exhibited a 5-day delay without significant loss of mycelial weight compared to the wild type. The sporangium-free mycelial mattress from the sporangiospore culture of F6 was treated with 1N sodium hydroxide NaOH at 85°C for 2 h to produce a sponge-like membrane named Rhizochitin. The trifluoroacetic acid hydrolysate of Rhizochitin contained 36% N-acetylglucosamine and 53% hexose respectively detected by the Elson-Morgen and phenol-sulfuric acid methods. Results indicated the wound area in rats covered with Rhizochitin was 40% less than that of the uncovered group. Rhizochitin decreased the expression of PDGF in the proliferation stage, increased the expression of TGF-β in the inflammation and proliferation stages, and increased the expression of VEGF in the inflammation and proliferation stages. Rhizochitin inhibited secretion of matrix metalloproteinase-9 on days 1, 7, 9, and 12 and matrix metalloproteinase-2 on days 3, 7, 9, and 12. It was concluded that Rhizochitin has beneficial properties of biocompatible, biodegradable, and wound healing.
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