Wound Dressings Composed of Copper-Doped Borate Bioactive Glass Microfibers Stimulate Angiogenesis and Heal Full-Thickness Skin Defects in a Rodent Model


There is a need for better wound dressings that possess the requisite angiogenic capacity for rapid in situ healing of full-thickness skin wounds. Borate bioactive glass microfibers are showing a remarkable ability to heal soft tissue wounds but little is known about the process and mechanisms of healing. In the present study, wound dressings composed of borate bioactive glass microfibers (diameter=0.4-1.2μm; composition 6Na2O, 8K2O, 8MgO, 22CaO, 54B2O3, 2P2O5; mol%) doped with 0-3.0wt.% CuO were created and evaluated invitro and invivo. When immersed in simulated body fluid, the fibers degraded and converted to hydroxyapatite within ~7 days, releasing ions such as Ca, B and Cu into the medium. Invitro cell culture showed that the ionic dissolution product of the fibers was not toxic to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and fibroblasts, promoted HUVEC migration, tubule formation and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and stimulated the expression of angiogenic-related genes of the fibroblasts. When used to treat full-thickness skin defects in rodents, the Cu-doped fibers (3.0wt.% CuO) showed a significantly better capacity to stimulate angiogenesis than the undoped fibers and the untreated defects (control) at 7 and 14 days post-surgery. The defects treated with the Cu-doped and undoped fibers showed improved collagen deposition, maturity and orientation when compared to the untreated defects, the improvement shown by the Cu-doped fibers was not markedly better than the undoped fibers at 14 days post-surgery. These results indicate that the Cu-doped borate glass microfibers have a promising capacity to stimulate angiogenesis and heal full-thickness skin defects. They also provide valuable data for understanding the role of the microfibers in healing soft tissue wounds.


Materials Science and Engineering

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Article - Journal

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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2015