Bioengineered biodegradable scaffolds for promoting wound healing and scar prevention
Dermal scarring affects more than 80 million people worldwide annually. For example, over 4.4 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents, thousands of soldiers are wounded in military exercises, and over 2.4 million patients are burned. In severe burns (about 28,000 patients/year in the United States), the incidence of hypertrophic scar (HSc) is 40-70%. HSc are firm, raised, red, itchy scars that are disfiguring and can have a severe impact on quality of life. Current preventative therapies for scar contracture are ineffective, and patients requiring intervention undergo at least four corrective surgeries on average. The main reason for HSc contractures is rapid degradation of collagen-based scaffolds. HSc develops during the first 4-8 weeks following injury and continues to mature and contract throughout the remodeling phase of repair for as long as six months post trauma; however, commercially available bioengineered skin equivalents (BSE) degrade and are remodeled in the wound bed within 1-4 weeks. There is a need for scaffolds that are bioresorbable yet maintain their structure long enough to adequately support wound healing.
Duke inventors have developed a biodegradable scaffold intended to be implanted into patients’ wounds, such as those acquired from burn injuries and surgical wounds. This technology is a degradable, elastomeric, randomly oriented, electrospun micro-fibrous scaffold fabricated from the copolymer poly(l-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PLCL). PLCL scaffolds display appropriate elastomeric and tensile characteristics for implantation beneath a human skin graft. Inventors have demonstrated that HSc contraction was significantly greater in animals treated with standard of care, Integra, as compared to those treated this technology. The PLCL material employed in this invention will retain its structure in the wound bed throughout the remodeling phase of repair, having only lost 51% of its number-average molecular weight at 30 days in vivo in mouse models.
- This invention is biodegradable yet will retain its structure in the wound bed throughout the remodeling phase of repair
- The material, PLCL, has been extensively studied for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications
- Displays the appropriate elastomeric and tensile characteristics for implantation beneath a human skin graft
- Mouse models demonstrate reduction in HSc contraction