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Sci Technol Adv Mater. 2015 May 20;16(3):034606. eCollection 2015 Jun.

In vitro investigations of a novel wound dressing concept based on biodegradable polyurethane.

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Laboratory for Biointerfaces, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Lerchenfeldstr. 5, CH-9014 St. Gallen, Switzerland.
MSRU Vetsuisse Faculty ZH, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 260, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
MSRU Vetsuisse Faculty ZH, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 260, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland; CABMM, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 260, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
nolax AG, Eichenstr. 12, CH-6203 Sempach Station, Switzerland.


Non-healing and partially healing wounds are an important problem not only for the patient but also for the public health care system. Current treatment solutions are far from optimal regarding the chosen material properties as well as price and source. Biodegradable polyurethane (PUR) scaffolds have shown great promise for in vivo tissue engineering approaches, but accomplishment of the goal of scaffold degradation and new tissue formation developing in parallel has not been observed so far in skin wound repair. In this study, the mechanical properties and degradation behavior as well as the biocompatibility of a low-cost synthetic, pathogen-free, biocompatible and biodegradable extracellular matrix mimicking a PUR scaffold was evaluated in vitro. The novel PUR scaffolds were found to meet all the requirements for optimal scaffolds and wound dressings. These three-dimensional scaffolds are soft, highly porous, and form-stable and can be easily cut into any shape desired. All the material formulations investigated were found to be nontoxic. One formulation was able to be defined that supported both good fibroblast cell attachment and cell proliferation to colonize the scaffold. Tunable biodegradation velocity of the materials could be observed, and the results additionally indicated that calcium plays a crucial role in PUR degradation. Our results suggest that the PUR materials evaluated in this study are promising candidates for next-generation wound treatment systems and support the concept of using foam scaffolds for improved in vivo tissue engineering and regeneration.


biocompatibility; cell culture; degradation; polyurethane; wound treatment scaffold

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