27 January 2011

Protein nanoparticles will help to heal diabetic ulcers and bedsores

Nanoparticles with growth factor accelerate the healing of chronic wounds
NanoNewsNet based on the materials of Massachusetts General Hospital:
Growth-factor-containing nanoparticles accelerate healing of chronic wounds

Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed a new system for delivering growth factors to chronic wounds such as bedsores and diabetic foot ulcers. In their work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Self-assembling elastin-like peptides growth factor chimeric nanoparticles for the treatment of chronic wounds), a group from the Center for Engineering in Medicine MGH reports the production of nanospheres from a hybrid protein consisting of keratinocyte growth factor (keratinocyte growth factor, KGF), which plays an important role in wound healing, and elastin-like peptides. Suspension of such nanoparticles in fibrin gel improves the healing of deep skin wounds in genetically engineered mice with diabetes mellitus.

"Surprisingly, just one dose of such a hybrid protein is enough to cause significant tissue regeneration in two weeks," says the lead author of the article, Ph.D. Piyush Koria (Piyush Koria). "Based on earlier reports, it can be concluded that keratinocyte growth factor helps the healing of chronic wounds. But in most studies, it was used on the surface of the wound, which limited its access to deeper tissues and required repeated applications to achieve any clinical effect. The use of large amounts of growth factor would make this method of treatment extremely expensive. Our work circumvents these limitations by delivering KGF more efficiently to the entire wound, stimulating tissue regeneration."

Laboratory experiments have shown that the hybrid protein from recombinant KGF and elastin-like peptides preserves the wound-healing properties of both elastin and KGF, which is confirmed by increased proliferation of keratinocytes and fibroblasts. The self-assembly of the hybrid protein into nanoparticles occurs at physiological temperatures. When applied to deep skin wounds, nanoparticles accelerate their healing in genetically engineered mice with diabetes mellitus, increasing reepithelization and granulation by 2 and 3 times, respectively, compared with the control.

The new method has huge potential, since hybrid protein can be easily produced at a relatively low cost, it is convenient to use and does not disappear as quickly as pure growth factor. The technology can become a platform for the delivery of any growth factor or their combinations. It can be either a mixture of nanoparticles with different growth factors, or sets of nanoparticles with a mixture of hybrid proteins on each of them.

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