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Growth Differentiation Factor 5 Accelerates Wound Closure and Improves Skin Quality During Repair of Full-Thickness Skin Defects

Schiefer, Jennifer L. MD; Held, Manuel MD; Fuchs, Paul C. MD; Demir, Erhan MD; Plöger, Frank PhD, CPM; Schaller, Hans-Eberhard MD; Rahmanian-Schwarz, Afshin MD

Advances in Skin & Wound Care: May 2017 - Volume 30 - Issue 5 - p 223–229
doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000515078.69041.3c
Features: Original Investigations

BACKGROUND: A fast and stable wound closure is important, especially for extended and unstable wounds found after burn injuries. Growth can regulate a variety of cellular processes, including those involved in wound healing. Growth differentiation factor 5 (GDF-5) can accelerate fibroblast cell migration, cell proliferation, and collagen synthesis, which are essential for wound healing. Nevertheless, no standardized evaluation of the effect of GDF-5 on the healing of full-thickness wounds has been published to date.

METHODS: Five full-thickness skin defects were created on the backs of 6 minipigs. Three wounds were treated with GDF-5 in different concentrations with the help of a gelatin-collagen carrier, and 2 wounds served as control group. The first was treated with the gelatin carrier and an Opsite film (Smith & Nephew, Fort Worth, Texas), and the other was treated solely with an Opsite film that was placed above all wounds and renewed every second day.

RESULTS: Growth differentiation factor 5 accelerates wound closure (10.91 [SD, 0.99] days) compared with treatment with the carrier alone (11.3 [SD, 1.49] days) and control wounds (13.3 [SD, 0.94] days). Epidermal cell count of wounds treated with GDF-5 revealed a higher number of cells compared with the control group. In addition, mean epidermal thickness was significantly increased in GDF-5–treated wounds compared with the control wounds.

CONCLUSIONS: Because of its ability to improve skin quality, GDF-5 should be considered when developing composite biomaterials for wound healing.

Jennifer L. Schiefer, MD, is Chief Resident, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, Hospital Cologne Merheim, University of Witten-Herdecke, Germany. Manuel Held, MD, is a Resident, Clinic for Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, BG Trauma Center, University of Tuebingen, Germany. Paul C Fuchs, MD, is Director, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, Hospital Cologne Merheim, University of Witten-Herdecke, Germany. Erhan Demir, MD, is Chief Resident, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, Hospital Cologne Merheim, University of Witten-Herdecke, Germany. Frank Plöger, PhD, CPM, is Director of Research and Development, Biopharm GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany. Hans-Eberhard Schaller, MD, is Director, Clinic for Plastic, Reconstructive, Hand and Burn Surgery, BG Trauma Center, University of Tuebingen, Germany. Afshin Rahmanian-Schwarz, MD, is Director, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive, Aesthetic, and Hand Surgery, Hospital Traunstein, Germany.

The authors have disclosed that this research was supported in parts by Freudenberg New Technologies SE & Co KG Group, Weinheim, Germany, and Biopharm GmbH.

Submitted June 18, 2015; accepted in revised form September 17, 2015.

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