Effective delivery of doxycycline and epidermal growth factor for expedited healing of chronic wounds.
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The problems and high medical costs associated with chronic wounds necessitate an economical bioactive wound dressing. A new strategy was investigated to inhibit MMP-9 proteases and to release epidermal growth factor (EGF) to enhance healing. Doxycycline (DOX) and EGF were encapsulated on polyacrylic acid modified polyurethane film (PAA-PU) using Layer-by-Layer (LbL) assembly. The number of bilayers tuned the concentration of DOX and EGF released over time with over 94% bioactivity of EGF retained over 4 days. A simple wound model in which MMP-9 proteases were added to cell culture containing fibroblast cells demonstrated that DOX inhibited the proteases providing a protective environment for the released EGF to stimulate cell migration and proliferation at a faster healing rate. In the presence of DOX, only small amounts of the highly bioactive EGF are sufficient to close the wound. Results show that this is new and promising bioactive dressing for effective wound management.