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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2007 Sep;53(9):18-25.

In vitro studies to show sequestration of matrix metalloproteinases by silver-containing wound care products.

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ConvaTec Wound Therapeutics, Deeside Industrial Park, Deeside, Flintshire, UK.

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  • Ostomy Wound Manage. 2007 Oct;53(10):32.


Excess or "uncontrolled" proteinase activity in the wound bed has been implicated as one factor that may delay or compromise wound healing. One proteinase group--matrix metalloproteinases--includes collagenases, elastase, and gelatinases and can be endogenous (cell) or exogenous (bacterial) in origin. A study was conducted to assess the ability of five silver-containing wound care products to reduce a known matrix metalloproteinase supernatant concentration in vitro. Four silver-containing wound dressings (a carboxy-methyl cellulose, a nanocrystalline, a hydro-alginate, and a collagen/oxidized regenerated cellulose composite dressing), along with a 0.5% aqueous silver nitrate [w/v] solution and controls for matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 sourced from ex vivo dermal tissue and blood monocytes, respectively, were used. Extracts were separated and purified using gelatine-Sepharose column chromatography and dialysis and polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic zymography was used to analyze specific matrix metalloproteinase activity. All dressings and the solution were shown to sequester both matrix metalloproteinases. The silver-containing carboxy-methyl cellulose dressing showed significantly greater sequestration for matrix metalloproteinase-2 at 6 and 24 hours (P< 0.001) compared to the other treatments. For matrix metalloproteinase-9, both the carboxy-methyl cellulose dressing and the oxidized regenerated cellulose dressing achieved significant sequestration when compared to the other treatments at 24 hours (P <0.001), which was maintained to 48 hours (P < 0.001). Results from this study show that silver-containing dressings are effective in sequestering matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 and that this can be achieved without a sacrificial protein (eg, collagen). Although the varying ability of wound dressings to sequester matrix metalloproteinases has been shown in vitro, further in vivo evidence is required to confirm these findings.

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