Investigation of the skin repair and healing mechanism of N-carboxymethyl chitosan in second-degree burn wounds



N-carboxymethyl chitosan (NCMC) was synthesized with the modification of chitosan; the substitution degree was measured by titration. The biocompatibility and degradability of the NCMC were studied in vivo and the results showed that the NCMC was nontoxic and biocompatible. The in vivo degradation rate of NCMC in musculature was faster than that in subcutaneous tissue due to the relatively high lysozyme concentration. The NCMC was used as biomaterial to heal deep second-degree burn wounds. The wound size reduction, histological examination, and the quantification of transforming growth factor-β1, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-8 protein levels, and Smad3 gene expression were measured to evaluate the healing effects. The results demonstrated that the NCMC was efficient in accelerating wound healing via activating transforming growth factor-β1/Smad3 signaling pathway.