Poly-N-acetyl glucosamine (pGlcNAc) nanofiber-based materials, produced by a marine microalga, have been characterized as effective hemostatic agents. In this study, we hypothesized that a pGlcNAc fiber patch may enhance wound healing in the db/db mouse.
pGlcNAc patches were applied on 1-cm, full-thickness, skin wounds in the db/db mouse model. Wounds (n = 15 per group) were dressed with a pGlcNAc nanofiber patch for 1 hour, 24 hours, or left untreated. After the application time, patches were removed and wounds were allowed to heal spontaneously. The rate of wound closure was evaluated by digital analysis of unclosed wound area as a function of time. At day 10, wounds (n = 7 per group) were harvested and quantified with immunohistochemical markers of proliferation (Ki-67) and vascularization (platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule).
Wounds dressed with pGlcNAc patches for 1 hour closed faster than control wounds, reaching 90% closure in 16.6 days, 9 days faster than untreated wounds. Granulation tissue showed higher levels of proliferation and vascularization after 1-hour treatment than the 24-hour and left-untreated groups. Foreign body reaction to the material was not noted in applications up to 24 hours.
In addition to its hemostatic properties, the pGlcNAc material also appears to accelerate wound closure in healing-impaired genetically diabetic mice. This material, with its combination of hemostatic and wound healing properties, has the potential to be effective agent for the treatment of complicated wounds.