Scientific Reports 9, Article number: 19165 (2019) | doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-55214-7
Amritha Vijayan, Sabareeswaran A., G. S. Vinod Kumar
Application of growth factors at wound site has improved the efficiency and quality of healing. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induce proliferation of various cells in wound healing. Delivery of growth factor from controlled release systems protect it from degradation and also result in sustained delivery of it at the site of injury. The goal of the study was to develop a Polyethylene glycol (PEG) cross-linked cotton-like chitosan scaffold (CS-PEG-H) by freeze-drying method and chemically conjugate heparin to the scaffold to which the growth factors can be electrostatically bound and evaluate its wound healing properties in vitro and in vivo. The growth factor containing scaffolds induced increased proliferation of HaCaT cells, increased neovascularization and collagen formation seen by H and E and Masson's trichrome staining. Immunohistochemistry was performed using the Ki67 marker which increased proliferation of cells in growth factor containing scaffold treated group. Frequent dressing changes are a major deterrent to proper wound healing. Our system was found to release both VEGF and bFGF in a continuous manner and attained stability after 7 days. Thus our system can maintain therapeutic levels of growth factor at the wound bed thereby avoiding the need for daily applications and frequent dressing changes. Thus, it can be a promising candidate for wound healing.