Casimiro, M.H., Ferreira, L.M., Santos, P.M.P., Leal, J.P., Rodrigues, G., Iria, I., Alves, S., Pais, D. & Casal, D. (2022) Chitosan-based membranes for skin wound repair in a dorsal fold chamber rat model.Pharmaceutics, 14(12), 2736. DOI:10.3390/pharmaceutics14122736 (IF2021 6,525; Q1 Pharmacology & Pharmacy)
Frequently, deep partial and full-thickness skin wounds do not spontaneously regenerate. To restore the normal function of skin, epidermal and dermal components have to be supplied to the wound bed by grafting various substrates. Available options are limited and frequently costly. Herein, authors present a possible approach using 3D skin scaffolds capable of mimicking structure and biological functions of the extracellular matrix, providing, in parallel, a good environment for cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation. Low-molecular weight chitosan-based membranes were prepared by freeze-drying and ionizing radiation techniques to be used as skin scaffolds. Poly (vinyl alcohol), PVA, vinyl pyrrolidone, VP, and gelatin from cold water fish were incorporated. Information regarding membranes’ physical-chemical properties from SEM analysis, swelling and weight loss, together with biological response through in vitro assays (using Human Caucasian Fetal Foreskin Fibroblast) allowed the selection of an optimized batch of membranes that was used as skin scaffold in a dorsal rat model wound. The in vivo implantation assays (in Wistar rats) resulted in very promising results: (i) healing process faster than control; (ii) good vascularization; (iii) viable new tissues morphologically functional.