Skip to main content

27-01-2011 | Dermatology | Article

Nanoparticles containing growth factor speed up chronic wound healing


Free abstract

MedWire News: Application of nanospheres containing keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) and elastin-like peptides effectively accelerate the healing process of chronic wounds in diabetic mice, report US researchers.

"It is quite amazing how just one dose of the fusion protein was enough to induce significant tissue regeneration in 2 weeks," said lead author Piyush Koria from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

"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… Our work circumvents these limitations by more efficiently delivering KGF throughout the wound to stimulate tissue regeneration," he added.

The fusion protein developed by Koria and co-workers self-assembles into nanoparticles at physiological temperatures.

When applied to full thickness wounds in diabetic mice (Leprdb), the particles improved re-epithelialization and granulation of tissue 2- and 3-fold more than in wounds of untreated control mice.

The team believes that the ability of the protein to form nanoparticles greatly aids cellular delivery of KGF and elastin, which is demonstrated by its ability to enhance keratinocyte and fibroblast proliferation.

They say that the nanoparticles have great potential for use in the treatment of chronic wounds, such as those occurring in patients with diabetes or those with underlying circulatory conditions.

Study co-author Martin Yamush (Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts) commented: "This technology has great potential because the fusion protein can be easily manufactured at a relatively low cost, is easy to administer and does not disappear as readily as the growth factor alone."

He added: "The technology also provides a platform for delivery of any growth factor or combination of factors. One could imagine administering a mixture of nanoparticles, each with a different factor, or a single set of nanoparticles with a mixture of fusion proteins on each."

The results of this study are published in the journal PNAS.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Helen Albert