Polymer-based Biomaterials as Dressings for Chronic Stagnating Wounds



Chronic wounds, such as venous, pressure, and diabetic ulcers, are difficult to heal and represent a rising social and economical problem. Compared to acute wounds, non-healing wounds contain elevated levels of neutrophil elastase, pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8), and matrix metalloproteases (MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-13) as well as free radicals. Their overproduction perpetuates the inflammatory phase resulting in severe tissue damage and degradation of growth factors. Consequently, wound closure is prevented and the wound remains non-healing for month or even years. The increasing numbers of patients suffering from wounds that fail to heal are a significant challenge for health care professionals. Wound dressings play an important role in the entire management of these wounds. New materials and treatment strategies are needed to improve wound care. Recent advances in the field of biomaterials and their medical applications indicate the significance and potential of various natural polymers in the development of novel classes of wound dressings. Native polymers are an ideal source for bio-active wound dressings because of their availability and biocompatibility. Hence, several studies have been conducted to explore the influence of wound dressings consisting of collagen, oxidized regenerated cellulose, bacterial cellulose, chitosan, or alginate on the destructive milieu in chronic wounds.