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J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2016 Dec;10(12):1012-1020. doi: 10.1002/term.1886. Epub 2014 Mar 27.

Anchoring a cytoactive factor in a wound bed promotes healing.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA.
Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA.
Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA.
Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA.
Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA.


Wound healing is a complex process that requires the intervention of cytoactive factors. The one-time application of soluble factors to a wound bed does not maintain a steady, sufficient concentration. Here we investigated the benefits of anchoring a factor in a wound bed via a tether to endogenous collagen. We used a collagen-mimetic peptide (CMP) as a pylon. The CMP binds to damaged but not intact collagen and thus localizes a pendant cytoactive factor in the regions of a wound bed that require intervention. As a model factor, we chose substance P, a peptide of the tachykinin family that promotes wound healing. Using splinted wounds in db/db mice, we found that the one-time application of a CMP-substance P conjugate enhances wound healing compared to unconjugated substance P and other controls. Specifically, all 16 wounds treated with the conjugate closed more thoroughly and, did so with extensive re-epithelialization and mitigated inflammatory activity. These data validate a simple and general strategy for re-engineering wound beds by the integration of beneficial cytoactive factors.


Mus musculus; Substance P; collagen; extracellular matrix; peptide; synthetic biology

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