Posted on Mar 31, 2018, 1 a.m.
A new wound dressing that can accelerate healing and improve tissue regeneration has been developed by researchers which draws inspiration from animals and plants to restore tissue.
Two different types of nanofiber dressing have been developed using naturally occurring proteins from animals and plants to regrow tissue and promote healing by researchers at Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering Harvard John A. Paulson SEAS, as published separately in Biomaterials which describes wound tissue inspired by fetal tissue, and Advanced Healthcare Materials which describes soy based nanofibers that promotes and enhances wound healing.
The fiber manufacturing system according to researchers was developed specifically for therapeutic use for war wounds to help address the healing process of horrific wounds which can be more than trying.
Early studies on wound healing in early development note that wounds incurred before the 3rd trimester didn’t leave scars, opening a range of possibilities for regenerative medicine, but researchers have struggled to replicate the uniques fetal skin properties. Fetal skin has high levels of fibronectin protein which assembles into the extracellular matrix and promotes cell adhesion and binding. Fibronectin has 2 structures which are fibrous that is found in tissue, and globular which is found in blood.
Fibrous fibronectin was made by using a Rotary Jet Spinning manufacturing platform, which works kind of like a cotton candy machine. A liquid polymer solution of globular fibronectin dissolved in a solvent loaded gets loaded into a reservoir which is then pushed through an opening by the centrifugal force as it spins, as it leaves the reservoir it evaporates and the polymers solidify, centrifugal force unfolds the globular protein into thin fibres which are collected to form a large scale wound dressing or bandage.
The dressing integrates into the wound to act as an instructive scaffold which recruits the different stem cells required for regeneration, assisting healing processes, and then becomes absorbed into the body. During in vivo testing wounds treated with fibronectin dressings displayed 84% tissue restoration within 20 days; and had close to normal epidermal thickness, dermal architecture, and regrew hair follicles.
Soy protein contains estrogen like molecules which accelerate healing and bioactive molecules which are similar to those that support and build human cells. In a similar manner to fibronectin fibers RJS was used to spin soy fibers into wound dressings, which in experiments demonstrated 72% increases in healing over undressed wounds and 21% increase in healing over wounds dressed without soy protein.
Both dressings have advantages in wound healing. Soy based nanofiber consisting of cellulose acetate and soy protein hydrolysate are inexpensive making them a good option for large scale usage like burns. Fibronectin dressings could be used for smaller wounds on the hands or face where scar prevention is important.
Materials provided by Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
- Christophe O. Chantre, Patrick H. Campbell, Holly M. Golecki, Adrian T. Buganza, Andrew K. Capulli, Leila F. Deravi, Stephanie Dauth, Sean P. Sheehy, Jeffrey A. Paten, Karl Gledhill, Yanne S. Doucet, Hasan E. Abaci, Seungkuk Ahn, Benjamin D. Pope, Jeffrey W. Ruberti, Simon P. Hoerstrup, Angela M. Christiano, Kevin Kit Parker. Production-scale fibronectin nanofibers promote wound closure and tissue repair in a dermal mouse model. Biomaterials, 2018; 166: 96 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.03.006
- Seungkuk Ahn, Christophe O. Chantre, Alanna R. Gannon, Johan U. Lind, Patrick H. Campbell, Thomas Grevesse, Blakely B. O'Connor, Kevin Kit Parker. Soy Protein/Cellulose Nanofiber Scaffolds Mimicking Skin Extracellular Matrix for Enhanced Wound Healing. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2018; 1701175 DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201701175