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Combination Therapy Speeds Wound Healing

OTC Gel Enhanced With Gene-Suppressing Agent Halves Healing Time in Mouse Studies

Chronic wounds impact some 6.5 million Americans annually at a cost of $25 billion, and few therapeutic advances have been achieved in the last several decades. But researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and colleagues report that a new combination therapy appears to reduce healing time by ½ while significantly improving healing outcomes in their experiments with mouse models. Senior author David Sharp, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics at Albert Einstein, commented, “We foresee this therapy having broad application for all sorts of wounds, from playground cuts to battlefield injuries to chronic wounds." The advance builds on prior work by Dr. Sharp and colleagues that identified the role of the enzyme fidgetin-like 2 (FL2) in impeding the migration of new skin cells toward wounds to heal them.

The researchers hypothesized that reducing FL2 levels might enable faster movement of healing cells and developed small interfering RNA molecules (siRNAs) that inhibit the gene that codes for FL2. The team also combined the siRNAs with PluroGel, a protective moisturizing antimicrobial gel and applied the material to mice with skin burns or excisions. In comparison to control groups of mice who received either PluroGel alone, or in combination with non-FL2 targeting siRNA, the first cohort exhibited significantly faster healing of both wound types. Coauthor Adam Kramer, a PhD candidate in Dr. Sharp’s lab remarked: “By lowering FL2 levels in skin cells, the FL2-siRNA helps cells reach wound sites much faster than they ordinarily would—essential for minimizing scarring and preventing wounds from becoming chronic. And by hydrating wounds and inhibiting microbes, PluroGel offers important additional wound-healing benefits." The findings were reported online in Advances in Wound Care.

Read about the therapeutic advance.

The journal article may be read here.

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