Wounds take time to heal and are particularly a problem in the elderly and people with diabetes. Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have developed a new nanoparticle therapy that can speed the healing of all sorts of wounds, including everyday cuts and burns, surgical incisions, and chronic skin ulcers. The nanoparticle therapy has been successfully treated in mice.
Researchers discovered that an enzyme called fidgetin-like 2 (FL2) halts skin cells as they migrate towards wounds to heal them. They reasoned that the healing cells could reach their destination faster if the levels of FL2 could be reduced. So they developed a drug that inactivates the gene that makes FL2 and then put the drug in tiny gel capsules called nano particles and applied the nano particles to wounds on mice. The treated wounds were found to heal much faster than untreated wounds.
To understand more about FL2's role in humans, David Sharp, professor of physiology & biophysics at Einstein and study co-leader, suppressed FL2's activity in human cells in tissue culture. He said, "When those cells were placed on a standard wound assay (for measuring properties like cell migration and proliferation), they moved unusually fast. This suggested that if we could find a way to target FL2 in humans, we might have a new way to promote wound healing."
The study appears online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.