Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators have developed a novel system for delivery of growth factors to chronic wounds such as pressure sores and diabetic foot ulcers.
In their work published in the Jan. 18Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team from the MGH Center for Engineering in Medicine (CEM) reports fabricating nanospheres containing keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), a protein known to play an important role in wound healing, fused with elastin-like peptides. When suspended in a fibrin gel, these nanoparticles improved the healing of deep skin wounds in diabetic mice.
“It is quite amazing how just one dose of the fusion protein was enough to induce significant tissue regeneration in two weeks” says the paper’s lead author Piyush Koria, PhD, formerly a postdoctoral fellow at the MGH-CEM and now at the University of South Florida. “Previous reports have suggested that KGF can help heal chronic wounds. But in most studies the growth factor was applied to the surface of the wound, limiting its availability to deeper tissues and requiring repeat applications to produce any clinical benefit. Using large quantities of growth factor would make this therapy extremely expensive. Our work circumvents these limitations by more efficiently delivering KFG throughout the wound to stimulate tissue regeneration.”