Gradation of Porcine Bladder ECM in Hydrogels for Chronic Wound Treatment
Gradation of Porcine Bladder ECM in Hydrogels for Chronic Wound Treatment (593.2Kb)
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Chronic, nonhealing wounds affect about 6.5 million individuals in the U.S., and often present as comorbidities of other prevalent conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Chronic wounds are characterized by a recurring inflammatory state without progression to the proliferation and remodeling stages of wound healing. Around $25 billion is spent annually on treatment of chronic wounds; however most traditional wound care approaches do not effectively encourage the physiological healing process. One emerging treatment option is extracellular matrix (ECM)-based wound dressings, which are composed of a network of proteins and other macromolecules that support and anchor cells within tissue. These dressings are typically composed of decellularized tissue derived from animal donors and provide a protein scaffold that mimics dermal ECM by facilitating cell adhesion. Most commercially available ECM-based dressings are dry, uniform sheets of ECM that provide a structural scaffold for cellular growth, but do not provide a physiologically relevant moisture balance or encourage cellular infiltration into the dressing as the wound heals. However, fibroblasts, which play a major role in wound healing, have been shown to migrate to regions of denser ECM concentrations, where they exhibit enhanced metabolic activity and proliferation. A UBM-based hydrogel will serve as an alternative wound dressing that will mitigate the issues with current ECM-based products. A hydrogel dressing offers a more physiologically relevant moisture balance to the site of the wound, while integrated structural cues will encourage fibroblast infiltration. Ultimately, this approach will increase the rate at which ulcers heal and prevent further deterioration of the wound site, in turn lessening the physical and financial burden on patients.