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      Smart Dressings Based on Nanostructured Fibers Containing Natural Origin Antimicrobial, Anti-Inflammatory, and Regenerative Compounds


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          A fast and effective wound healing process would substantially decrease medical costs, wound care supplies, and hospitalization significantly improving the patients’ quality of life. The search for effective therapeutic approaches seems to be imperative in order to avoid the aggravation of chronic wounds. In spite of all the efforts that have been made during the recent years towards the development of artificial wound dressings, none of the currently available options combine all the requirements necessary for quick and optimal cutaneous regeneration. Therefore, technological advances in the area of temporary and permanent smart dressings for wound care are required. The development of nanoscience and nanotechnology can improve the materials and designs used in topical wound care in order to efficiently release antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and regenerative compounds speeding up the endogenous healing process. Nanostructured dressings can overcome the limitations of the current coverings and, separately, natural origin components can also overcome the drawbacks of current antibiotics and antiseptics (mainly cytotoxicity, antibiotic resistance, and allergies). The combination of natural origin components with demonstrated antibiotic, regenerative, or anti-inflammatory properties together with nanostructured materials is a promising approach to fulfil all the requirements needed for the next generation of bioactive wound dressings. Microbially compromised wounds have been treated with different essential oils, honey, cationic peptides, aloe vera, plant extracts, and other natural origin occurring antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative components but the available evidence is limited and insufficient to be able to draw reliable conclusions and to extrapolate those findings to the clinical practice. The evidence and some promising preliminary results indicate that future comparative studies are justified but instead of talking about the beneficial or inert effects of those natural origin occurring materials, the scientific community leads towards the identification of the main active components involved and their mechanism of action during the corresponding healing, antimicrobial, or regenerative processes and in carrying out systematic and comparative controlled tests. Once those natural origin components have been identified and their efficacy validated through solid clinical trials, their combination within nanostructured dressings can open up new avenues in the fabrication of bioactive dressings with outstanding characteristics for wound care. The motivation of this work is to analyze the state of the art in the use of different essential oils, honey, cationic peptides, aloe vera, plant extracts, and other natural origin occurring materials as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and regenerative components with the aim of clarifying their potential clinical use in bioactive dressings. We conclude that, for those natural occurring materials, more clinical trials are needed to reach a sufficient level of evidence as therapeutic agents for wound healing management.

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          Most cited references174

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          The healing of an adult skin wound is a complex process requiring the collaborative efforts of many different tissues and cell lineages. The behavior of each of the contributing cell types during the phases of proliferation, migration, matrix synthesis, and contraction, as well as the growth factor and matrix signals present at a wound site, are now roughly understood. Details of how these signals control wound cell activities are beginning to emerge, and studies of healing in embryos have begun to show how the normal adult repair process might be readjusted to make it less like patching up and more like regeneration.
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            In post-natal life the inflammatory response is an inevitable consequence of tissue injury. Experimental studies established the dogma that inflammation is essential to the establishment of cutaneous homeostasis following injury, and in recent years information about specific subsets of inflammatory cell lineages and the cytokine network orchestrating inflammation associated with tissue repair has increased. Recently, this dogma has been challenged, and reports have raised questions on the validity of the essential prerequisite of inflammation for efficient tissue repair. Indeed, in experimental models of repair, inflammation has been shown to delay healing and to result in increased scarring. Furthermore, chronic inflammation, a hallmark of the non-healing wound, predisposes tissue to cancer development. Thus, a more detailed understanding in mechanisms controlling the inflammatory response during repair and how inflammation directs the outcome of the healing process will serve as a significant milestone in the therapy of pathological tissue repair. In this paper, we review cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling inflammation in cutaneous tissue repair and provide a rationale for targeting the inflammatory phase in order to modulate the outcome of the healing response.
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              Cutaneous wound healing is a complex process involving blood clotting, inflammation, new tissue formation, and finally tissue remodeling. It is well described at the histological level, but the genes that regulate skin repair have only partially been identified. Many experimental and clinical studies have demonstrated varied, but in most cases beneficial, effects of exogenous growth factors on the healing process. However, the roles played by endogenous growth factors have remained largely unclear. Initial approaches at addressing this question focused on the expression analysis of various growth factors, cytokines, and their receptors in different wound models, with first functional data being obtained by applying neutralizing antibodies to wounds. During the past few years, the availability of genetically modified mice has allowed elucidation of the function of various genes in the healing process, and these studies have shed light onto the role of growth factors, cytokines, and their downstream effectors in wound repair. This review summarizes the results of expression studies that have been performed in rodents, pigs, and humans to localize growth factors and their receptors in skin wounds. Most importantly, we also report on genetic studies addressing the functions of endogenous growth factors in the wound repair process.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                Materials (Basel)
                Materials (Basel)
                11 August 2015
                August 2015
                : 8
                : 8
                : 5154-5193
                [1 ]Department of Chemical Engineering, Aragon Institute of Nanoscience (INA), University of Zaragoza, Campus Río Ebro-Edificio I+D, C/ Mariano Esquillor S/N, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain; E-Mails: vandreu@ 123456unizar.es (V.A.); graciamendoza@ 123456gmail.com (G.M.)
                [2 ]Networking Research Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, CIBER-BBN, Madrid 28029, Spain
                Author notes

                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                [* ]Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mails: arruebom@ 123456unizar.es (M.A.); sirusta@ 123456unizar.es (S.I.).
                © 2015 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 04 July 2015
                : 05 August 2015

                dressings,chronic wounds,nanostructured materials,electrospinning,honey,essential oils,tissue engineering,infection,inflammation,regeneration


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