Wound Healing

There is an urgent need for therapeutics that accelerate the rate of wounds healing for large cutaneous wounds and for pathological wounds linked to connective tissue diseases. It is estimated that 2%, or about 7 million Americans, are suffering from chronic wounds (ACS). Chronic non-healing wounds are refractory tissue injuries, such as from abrasions or lacerations, that fail to efficiently regenerate. In normal wound healing there are four main stages (Figure 1), but in chronic non-healing wounds, the stages are impaired due to the degradation of the ECM and GFs from constant inflammation.

Figure 1: Wound Healing Stages (Andryukov 2020)

Natural products serve as plentiful and renewable resources for biochemicals that may be utilized to treat many medical conditions, like diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) and other connective tissue diseases. For example, there are studies demonstrating how certain natural phytochemicals and metabolites have anti-inflammatory properties.

This research project will focus on testing algae extracts for evidence of enhanced wound healing properties. Qualitative and quantitative assays will be used to investigate treated human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs) for changes in cell proliferation, migration, and fibrous ECM deposition. The research workflow (Figure 2) depicts the process in which the experiment will be conducted.

Figure 2: Workflow between the Hamann lab and Norris lab to extract compounds for assay screening