Application of Ionic Liquids for Wound Care
The presence of biofilm triggers a sustained inflammatory response in chronic wounds that is purported to be the primary reason for slow healing. Skin infections account for approximately 10% of all hospital visits; the prevalence and healthcare costs have been gradually increasing over the last 3 decades. Wounds infections could lead to serious complications such as prolonged hospital stay, sepsis, limb amputation, and death. To help address this problem, the Los Alamos National Laboratory research team in New Mexico has identified a new class of material called ionic liquids that consist of choline-geranate. Ionic liquids have a unique property to disrupt biofilm and facilitate delivery of antibiotic to deactivate hard-to-reach wound pathogens that are inside the core of biofilm. Researchers claimed that ionic liquids could penetrate through the skin allowing antibiotics to reach below the dermis. It has been documented that choline-geranate increased delivery of cefadroxil, an antibiotic, by >16-fold into the deep tissue layers of the skin without inducing skin irritation. Topical application of ionic liquids to an open wound could potentially reduce the risk of serious infection, especially in battlefield, before proper treatment is available. These liquids can be developed from inexpensive starting materials that are FDA approved and are extremely stable to high temperatures and pressures, making them ideal for real-world applications.
Targeted Therapy Using Fibroblast Growth Factors
Angiogenesis or the growth of new blood vessels is crucial to wound healing. The research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, evaluated a group of proteins known as fibroblast growth factors (FGF) and their role in wound healing. The FGF proteins interact with specific receptor molecules, known as FGFRs, located on the surface of many types of cells in the body including the interior of blood vessels and blood cells. Using a murine model, the researchers experimentally inhibited the expression of the FGFR1 and FGFR2 proteins, 2 major mediators of the FGF signal that are present in the cells that line blood vessels. They noticed delayed healing from a skin injury and a significant decrease in the density of blood vessels surrounding the injury site. Human FGF2 is already in clinical use as a topical spray in Japan for foot ulcers to promote wound healing with some success. There are conditions when new blood vessels growth is undesirable, such as vision loss related to age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Excessive blood vessels in the eye are fragile and they tend to break easily causing bleeding, tissue damage, and scar formation. Targeted inhibition of FGF signaling in the eye to inhibit the growth of blood vessels may help prevent vision loss.
Nanosheets for Burn Wounds
Burn wounds are vulnerable to infection and keeping them sealed off from bacteria is essential for a successful recovery. A researcher group from Japan’s Tokai University developed novel nanosheets that are made of a biodegradable polyester called poly(L-lactic acid), or PLLA. These nanosheets are extremely flexible, giving them the ability to coat small and irregular contours on the body. Without any adhesive, the nanosheet patchwork effectively covered even the smallest bumps and wrinkles on the mouse's digits. This material is ideal as a burn wound dressing because of its ability to conform to the curvature of the body and protect the injured areas against bacterial contamination. The dressing protected wounds from infection for 3 continuous days. With an additional coating, the nanosheets kept bacteria out for a total of 6 days, reducing the number of times dressings have to be changed.
Short-term Stress May Be Beneficial for Healing
Researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) found that under chronic stress, steroid hormones produced by the adrenal glands can have a harmful effect on the protective functions of normal skin and inhibit wound healing. However, under shorter intervals of stress, the researchers found that the stressed mice showed significantly reduced inflammation and faster healing from experimentally induced dermatitis. Short-term psychological stress has a potential role in promoting healing. Results challenge the notion of treatment that involved high doses and prolonged use of steroid therapy.
Human Amniotic Membrane/Umbilical Cord Matrix for the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Amniox Medical announced the initiation of a multicenter, randomized, parallel, crossover design study of nonhealing diabetic foot ulcers compares Cryopreserved, Umbilical Cord Allograft (NEOX® CORD 1K) versus standard of care. Amniox is a human amniotic membrane/umbilical cord matrix comprises key proteins, cytokines, and growth factors that have been shown to modulate inflammation and promote regeneration of normal tissue. The anti-inflammatory properties of these placental tissues may also decrease scar tissue formation.
NIH Awards Grant to Imbed Bio to Develop Advanced Wound Dressing
Imbed Biosciences, Inc, Madison, Wisconsin, has been awarded a $1.5 million competitive Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant from National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health. Imbed Biosciences aims to develop unique polymeric nanofilm dressings containing silver nanoparticles. The nanofilm dressing dissolves in the wound over time, thus minimizing painful dressing changes.