Scientists have made new bioactive peptides which help wounds to heal by activating the growth of new blood vessels and epithelial tissue.
These wound-healing peptides, synthesized by researchers at the Tufts Center for Innovations increased angiogenesis in vitro by 200 percent.
The discovery has provided a better understanding of the mechanisms regulating wound healing and may lead to new therapies for acute and chronic wound healing.
"We identified specific bioactive peptides that are produced from collagenase treatment of extracellular matrix, which stimulate the healing process within a wound. By creating combinations of several key peptide fragments, we were able to synthesize an entirely novel class of wound-healing peptides that promote the fundamental response to injury: blood vessel formation and epithelialization," said senior author Ira Herman.
The team from Tufts used a three-dimensional wound model to examine the effect of the bioactive peptides on wound healing. After three days, wounds treated with the peptides showed signs of robust repair, while controls did not.
First author Tatiana Demidova-Rice said, "We found that collagenase enzyme derived from Clostridium histolyticum bacteria releases biologically active fragments - peptides - from extracellular mammalian proteins. These peptides stimulate proliferation of capillary endothelial cells, enhance microvascular remodeling in the 2-D model, and induce endothelial sprouting in a 3-D model of injury repair, and therefore are likely to have potential to stimulate blood vessel formation and promote healing in response to injury in animals and humans."
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from existing vessels, is a key step in all types of wound healing from knee scrapes to venous stasis ulcers, pressure sores and diabetic foot ulcers.
The findings were reported in the Wound Repair and Regeneration.