November 8, 2016

Improving wound healing

Vanderbilt researchers have shown that an injectable material improves wound healing and may be useful for large skin wounds such as those in patients with diabetes.

An injectable, biodegradable polyurethane (PUR) material facilitates wound healing, Vanderbilt investigators have demonstrated.

The findings, reported in the November issue of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, support the potential utility of injectable PUR scaffolds for filling large skin wounds that result from traumatic injury or chronic skin ulcers in patients with diabetes.

Scott Guelcher, Ph.D., Lillian Nanney, Ph.D., and colleagues previously reported that preformed PUR scaffolds improve wound repair processes. Now, they show in a clinically relevant animal model that a new flowable, injected formulation of PUR scaffolding supported tissue infiltration and matrix production, delayed wound contraction and reduced scarring.

The injected scaffold material was compatible with cellular events of normal wound repair and – like the preformed scaffold – degraded within 30 days. Injectable scaffolds are a promising approach for filling deep and irregularly shaped wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers. Future scaffolds might also incorporate and deliver biologic therapeutics directly to a wound.

This research was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (AR056138), Kinetic Concepts, Inc., and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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