Functionalized Silk Biomaterials for Wound Healing

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Silk protein-biomaterial wound dressings with epidermal growth factor (EGF) and silver sulfadiazine were studied with a cutaneous excisional mouse wound model. Three different material designs and two different drug incorporation techniques were studied to compare wound healing responses. Material formats included silk films, lamellar porous silk films and electrospun silk nanofibers, each studied with the silk matrix alone and with drug loading or drug coatings on the silk matrices. Changes in wound size and histological assessments of wound tissues showed that the functionalized silk biomaterial wound dressings increased wound healing rate, including reepithelialization, dermis proliferation, collagen synthesis and reduced scar formation, when compared to air-permeable Tegaderm tape (3M) (- control) and a commercial wound dressing, Tegaderm Hydrocolloid dressing (3M) (+ control). All silk biomaterials were effective for wound healing, while the lamellar porous films and electrospun nanofibers and the incorporation of EGF/silver sulfadiazine, via drug loading or coating, provided the most rapid wound healing responses. This systematic approach to evaluating functionalized silk biomaterial wound dressings demonstrates a useful strategy to select formulations for further study towards new treatment options for chronic wounds.

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