In a groundbreaking study, a research team has found that chronic wounds in preclinical models were able to heal with normal, scar-free skin following treatment with an acellular product discovered at Mayo Clinic.
Derived from platelets, the purified exosomal product, known as ‘PEP’, was used to deliver healing messages into cells of preclinical animal models of ischemic wounds triggering wound healing and skin regeneration. The team documented the restoration of skin integrity, hair follicles, sweat glands, skin oils, and normal hydration. Ischemic wounds occur when arteries are clogged or blocked, preventing nutrients and oxygen from reaching the skin to trigger repair.
The research is supported by Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, and the study has been published in Theranostics.
Chronic Wound Healing
Chronic ischemic wounds are common in people with conditions such as diabetes, pressure ulcers, hardening of arteries, traumatic injury, or side effects of radiation therapy.
Currently, treatments for these wounds include wound dressing, topical gels, and surgery, however, they often cannot fully close the wound and when the condition progresses, nonhealing wounds lead to limb amputation.
This purified exosomal product is an extracellular vesicle that delivers cargo from one cell to another, targeting exact tissues in need of repair. The technology for the device is formulated as a dry powder to enable long-term storage at room temperature and, in the operating room or at the bedside, the powder is mixed with a hydrogel solution on-site and can be applied directly to the wound. Unlike cellular products, it does not have to be sent to an outside laboratory to be cultured and scaled.
Steven Moran, M.D., a Mayo Clinic plastic surgeon and senior co-author on the study, said: “This paper documents that PEP, an off-the-shelf, room-temperature-stable exosome, is capable of healing wounds that are depleted of adequate blood supply. Wounds healed with only a single application of exosome.
“I was surprised that this product regenerated healthy skin with normal biomechanical properties — not scar tissue. As this technology is now scaled and biomanufactured for clinical applications, it creates the potential for huge advancement in medical science and the field of plastic surgery.”