Photoactive Type I (atelo)collagen As Building Block Of Advanced Wound Dressings
University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.
Diabetic patients suffer from delayed wound healing and are expected to reach more than 5 million in the UK by 2025. Advanced wound dressings have been commercialised to respond to the pressing needs of an increasing diabetic and aging population. However, control of the wound microenvironment and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is still only partially accomplished, resulting in economically unaffordable healing times. Here, the use of GMP-grade type I bovine atelocollagen was explored for the design of a soluble factor- and cell-free photoactive dressing device with customisable dressing format (i.e. either wound‑contacting film, photocurable liquid, or fibrous structure) and integrated wound‑regulating functionalities (i.e. exudate management capability, control of chronic wound MMP activity and enhanced stability in situ) [1-3]. Covalent functionalisation of atelocollagen lysines with photoactive compounds, e.g. 4‑vinylbenzyl chloride, was confirmed by colorimetric and spectroscopic techniques, whilst prompting the synthesis of UV-induced, water-insoluble covalent networks of preserved collagen triple helices. Atelocollagen films displayed increased water uptake (up to 2000 wt.%) and bulk compressive modulus (~80 kPa) compared to commercially available cellulose dressing products. Furthermore, MMP-9 proved to be significantly downregulated following 4-day incubation in vitro with atelocollagen samples, in contrast to two leading dressing products. Preclinical investigations in a full‑thickness wound model in diabetic mice proved the accelerated healing capability of this soluble factor- and cell-free atelocollagen system with respect to a commercial polyurethane dressing, whilst complete wound closure was observed following 20 days post-wounding similarly to the case of cellulose dressing-treated diabetic wounds. In light of these encouraging results, a first-in-man study is currently ongoing with digital ulcers in patients with Scleroderma.  G. Tronci, J. Yin, R. Holmes, H. Liang, S.J. Russell, D.J. Wood. J. Mater. Chem. B 2016 (4) 7249 M.T. Arafat, G. Tronci, J. Yin, D.J. Wood, S.J. Russell. Polymer 2015 (77) 102  R. Holmes, X.B. Yang, A. Dunne, L. Florea, D. Wood, G. Tronci. Polymers 2017 (9) 226
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