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Concept: Chronic wound


After injury to the animal epidermis, a variety of genes are transcriptionally activated in nearby cells to regenerate the missing cells and facilitate barrier repair. The range and types of diffusible wound signals that are produced by damaged epidermis and function to activate repair genes during epidermal regeneration remains a subject of very active study in many animals. In Drosophila embryos, we have discovered that serine protease function is locally activated around wound sites, and is also required for localized activation of epidermal repair genes. The serine protease trypsin is sufficient to induce a striking global epidermal wound response without inflicting cell death or compromising the integrity of the epithelial barrier. We developed a trypsin wounding treatment as an amplification tool to more fully understand the changes in the Drosophila transcriptome that occur after epidermal injury. By comparing our array results with similar results on mammalian skin wounding we can see which evolutionarily conserved pathways are activated after epidermal wounding in very diverse animals. Our innovative serine protease-mediated wounding protocol allowed us to identify 8 additional genes that are activated in epidermal cells in the immediate vicinity of puncture wounds, and the functions of many of these genes suggest novel genetic pathways that may control epidermal wound repair. Additionally, our data augments the evidence that clean puncture wounding can mount a powerful innate immune transcriptional response, with different innate immune genes being activated in an interesting variety of ways. These include puncture-induced activation only in epidermal cells in the immediate vicinity of wounds, or in all epidermal cells, or specifically in the fat body, or in multiple tissues.

Concepts: Gene expression, Wound healing, Innate immune system, Skin, Serine protease, Injury, Wound, Chronic wound


Terahertz (THz) technology has emerged for biomedical applications such as scanning, molecular spectroscopy, and medical imaging. Although a thorough assessment to predict potential concerns has to precede before practical utilization of THz source, the biological effect of THz radiation is not yet fully understood with scant related investigations. Here, we applied a femtosecond-terahertz (fs-THz) pulse to mouse skin to evaluate non-thermal effects of THz radiation. Analysis of the genome-wide expression profile in fs-THz-irradiated skin indicated that wound responses were predominantly mediated by transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling pathways. We validated NFκB1- and Smad3/4-mediated transcriptional activation in fs-THz-irradiated skin by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Repeated fs-THz radiation delayed the closure of mouse skin punch wounds due to up-regulation of TGF-β. These findings suggest that fs-THz radiation initiate a wound-like signal in skin with increased expression of TGF-β and activation of its downstream target genes, which perturbs the wound healing process in vivo.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Wound healing, Healing, Electromagnetic spectrum, Wound, Infrared, Chronic wound


Wound healing is essential for survival. We took advantage of the Xenopus embryo, which exhibits remarkable capacities to repair wounds quickly and efficiently, to investigate the mechanisms responsible for wound healing. Previous work has shown that injury triggers a rapid calcium response, followed by the activation of Ras homolog (Rho) family guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases), which regulate the formation and contraction of an F-actin purse string around the wound margin. How these processes are coordinated following wounding remained unclear. Here we show that inositol-trisphosphate 3-kinase B (Itpkb) via its enzymatic product inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate (InsP4) plays an essential role during wound healing by modulating the activity of Rho family GTPases and F-actin ring assembly. Furthermore, we show that Itpkb and InsP4 modulate the speed of the calcium wave, which propagates from the site of injury into neighboring uninjured cells. Strikingly, both overexpression of itpkb and exogenous application of InsP4 accelerate the speed of wound closure, a finding that has potential implications in our quest to find treatments that improve wound healing in patients with acute or chronic wounds.

Concepts: Wound healing, Infection, Injuries, Injury, Wound, Traumatology, Chronic wound, Rho family of GTPases


Deep sternal wound infection is a devastating complication of cardiac surgery. In the current era of increasing patient comorbidity, newer techniques must be evaluated in attempts to reduce the rates of deep sternal wound infection.

Concepts: Infection, Heart, Wound, Antiseptic, The Current, Chronic wound, Wire


The early and effective treatment of wounds is vital to ensure proper wound closure and healing with appropriate functional and cosmetic outcomes. The use of human amnion membranes for wound care has been shown to be safe and effective. However, the difficulty in handling and placing thin sheets of membrane, and the high costs associated with the use of living cellularized tissue has limited the clinical application of amniotic membrane wound healing products. Here, we describe a novel amnion membrane-derived product, processed to result in a cell-free solution, while maintaining high concentrations of cell-derived cytokines and growth factors. The solubilized amnion membrane (SAM) combined with the carrier hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel (HA-SAM) is easy to produce, store, and apply to wounds. We demonstrated the efficacy of HA-SAM as a wound treatment using a full-thickness murine wound model. HA-SAM significantly accelerated wound closure through re-epithelialization and prevented wound contraction. HA-SAM-treated wounds had thicker regenerated skin, increased total number of blood vessels, and greater numbers of proliferating keratinocytes within the epidermis. Overall, this study confirms the efficacy of the amnion membrane as a wound treatment/dressing, and overcomes many of the limitations associated with using fresh, cryopreserved, or dehydrated tissue by providing a hydrogel delivery system for SAM. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017.

Concepts: Blood, Wound healing, Amniotic sac, Skin, Wound, Chronic wound, Membrane, Amnion


Significance: Chronic wounds include, but are not limited, to diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, and pressure ulcers. They are a challenge to wound care professionals and consume a great deal of healthcare resources around the globe. This review discusses the pathophysiology of complex chronic wounds and the means and modalities currently available to achieve healing in such patients. Recent Advances: Although often difficult to treat, an understanding of the underlying pathophysiology and specific attention toward managing these perturbations can often lead to successful healing. Critical Issues: Overcoming the factors that contribute to delayed healing are key components of a comprehensive approach to wound care and present the primary challenges to the treatment of chronic wounds. When wounds fail to achieve sufficient healing after 4 weeks of standard care, reassessment of underlying pathology and consideration of the need for advanced therapeutic agents should be undertaken. However, selection of an appropriate therapy is often not evidence based. Future Directions: Basic tenets of care need to be routinely followed, and a systematic evaluation of patients and their wounds will also facilitate appropriate care. Underlying pathologies, which result in the failure of these wounds to heal, differ among various types of chronic wounds. A better understanding of the differences between various types of chronic wounds at the molecular and cellular levels should improve our treatment approaches, leading to better healing rates, and facilitate the development of new more effective therapies. More evidence for the efficacy of current and future advanced wound therapies is required for their appropriate use.

Concepts: Medicine, Wound healing, Healing, Evaluation, Wound, Chronic wound, Venous ulcer, Diabetic foot


Adipocytes have many functions in various tissues beyond energy storage, including regulating metabolism, growth, and immunity. However, little is known about their role in wound healing. Here we use live imaging of fat body cells, the equivalent of vertebrate adipocytes in Drosophila, to investigate their potential behaviors and functions following skin wounding. We find that pupal fat body cells are not immotile, as previously presumed, but actively migrate to wounds using an unusual adhesion-independent, actomyosin-driven, peristaltic mode of motility. Once at the wound, fat body cells collaborate with hemocytes, Drosophila macrophages, to clear the wound of cell debris; they also tightly seal the epithelial wound gap and locally release antimicrobial peptides to fight wound infection. Thus, fat body cells are motile cells, enabling them to migrate to wounds to undertake several local functions needed to drive wound repair and prevent infections.

Concepts: Immune system, Wound healing, Motility, Physiology, Infection, Wound, Traumatology, Chronic wound


The aim of this study was to determine the cost of chronic wound care for Medicare beneficiaries in aggregate, by wound type and by setting.

Concepts: Wound healing, Evaluation, Infection, Economics, Wound, Chronic wound


Angiogenesis is critical for wound healing. Insufficient angiogenesis can result in impaired wound healing and chronic wound formation. Electrical stimulation (ES) has been shown to enhance angiogenesis. We previously showed that ES enhanced angiogenesis in acute wounds at one time point (day 14). The aim of this study was to further evaluate the role of ES in affecting angiogenesis during the acute phase of cutaneous wound healing over multiple time points. We compared the angiogenic response to wounding in 40 healthy volunteers (divided into two groups and randomised), treated with ES (post-ES) and compared them to secondary intention wound healing (control). Biopsy time points monitored were days 0, 3, 7, 10, 14. Objective non-invasive measures and H&E analysis were performed in addition to immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting (WB). Wound volume was significantly reduced on D7, 10 and 14 post-ES (p = 0.003, p = 0.002, p<0.001 respectively), surface area was reduced on days 10 (p = 0.001) and 14 (p<0.001) and wound diameter reduced on days 10 (p = 0.009) and 14 (p = 0.002). Blood flow increased significantly post-ES on D10 (p = 0.002) and 14 (p = 0.001). Angiogenic markers were up-regulated following ES application; protein analysis by IHC showed an increase (p<0.05) in VEGF-A expression by ES treatment on days 7, 10 and 14 (39%, 27% and 35% respectively) and PLGF expression on days 3 and 7 (40% on both days), compared to normal healing. Similarly, WB demonstrated an increase (p<0.05) in PLGF on days 7 and 14 (51% and 35% respectively). WB studies showed a significant increase of 30% (p>0.05) on day 14 in VEGF-A expression post-ES compared to controls. Furthermore, organisation of granulation tissue was improved on day 14 post-ES. This randomised controlled trial has shown that ES enhanced wound healing by reduced wound dimensions and increased VEGF-A and PLGF expression in acute cutaneous wounds, which further substantiates the role of ES in up-regulating angiogenesis as observed over multiple time points. This therapeutic approach may have potential application for clinical management of delayed and chronic wounds.

Concepts: Wound healing, Angiogenesis, Infection, Randomized controlled trial, Wound, Traumatology, Chronic wound, Granulation tissue


We report the first meta-analysis on the impact of prophylactic use of a specific design of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) device on surgical site complications.

Concepts: Chronic wound, Vacuum, Negative pressure wound therapy