Chronic wounds are a major challenge, with annual costs estimated to be £3 billion for the National Health Service, $28 billion for the US Medicare, and €285.5 million for the Irish Health Service. Comorbidities such as diabetes, and obesity can impair the natural healing process. Diabetes and obesity are continually rising in the developed world, so there is a current and future unmet need to develop advanced therapies.
This study, a collaboration between Queen’s University and DCU, has proven for the first time the potential of a wound dressing composed of electrospun ALG/PVA/CIP nanofibres loaded with RALA/miR-31 and RALA/miR-132. Data presented herein showed the in vitro properties of the nanocomplexes increased cell migration and proliferation using cell viability and wound scratch assays. Moreover, qRT-PCR verified that this functionality enhancement was produced by overexpression of miR and downregulation of mRNA directly targeted by miR. In vitro assessment of the ALG/PVA/CIP nanofibrous wound dressing demonstrated its biocompatibility and antimicrobial properties, as well as absence of cell attachment. Furthermore, a murine in vivo full-thickness wound model demonstrated that the nanoparticle-loaded, nanofibrous wound dressing significantly increased the wound healing rate, epidermal thickness and blood vessel count when compared to untreated control, commercial control (Algisite M) and nanoparticle-free nanofibres.