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Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(3):610-3. Epub 2007 Aug 6.

Could chronic wounds not heal due to too low local copper levels?

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Cupron Inc., PO Box 10973, Greensboro, NC 27404, USA.


Copper is an essential trace element involved in numerous human physiological and metabolic processes. It plays a key role in many of the processes that together comprise wound healing, including induction of endothelial growth factor, angiogenesis and expression and stabilization of extracellular skin proteins. We hypothesize that in individuals with diabetic ulcers, decubitus, peripheral vascular, or other wounds which might have compromised circulation to the wound site, that part of the incapacity of the wounds to heal is due to low local copper levels. Contamination of wounds is also an important factor causing impaired wound healing. Importantly, copper has potent broad biocidal properties. In contrast, the risk of adverse skin reactions due to exposure to copper is extremely low. We thus hypothesize that introducing copper into wound dressings would not only reduce the risk of wound and dressing contamination, as silver does but, more importantly, would stimulate faster wound repair directly. This would be done by the release of copper from the wound dressings directly into the wound site inducing angiogenesis and skin regeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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