| inflammation

Crohn’s Treatment: Nanofiber Hydrogel

Perianal Fistulas

Over 3 million American adults have Crohn’s disease. Of those, 30% to 40% develop perianal fistulas that can cause discomfort, swelling, pain, and blood and/or pus leakage. Surgery may help some, but statistically over half are not. Nanofiber hydrogel with stem cells to the rescue? This injectable biomimetic promotes healing and regeneration, at least in rat models. A study in Science Advances states that results show “a higher degree of healing when compared to surgical treatment of fistulas… The volume of fistulas treated with mechanically fragmented nanofiber-hydrogel composite (mfNHC) is decreased sixfold compared to the surgical treatment control."

“Molecular studies reveal that utilization of mfNHC reduced local inflammation and improved tissue regeneration. This study demonstrates that adipose-derived stem cells-loaded mfNHC is a promising therapy for Crohn’s disease perianal fistulas...” Senior coauthor of the study, Florin M. Selaru, MD, associate professor of medicine and oncology; director of the IBD Center at Hopkins, commented, “A large number of patients are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in their late teens to early 20s, and they are contemplating a lifetime of suffering from perianal fistulas.” Although further testing is needed, “This condition in Crohn’s patients is notoriously difficult to treat. We hope these results offer a potential new treatment paradigm to be translated and to improve the quality of life for these patients.”


Access the journal article.

Read the press release.

Holly Caster