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    Wound healing is a dynamic process that relies on coordinated signaling molecules to succeed. Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like growth factor (HB-EGF) is proven to accelerate healing, however precise control over its application is necessary to reduce side effects and achieve desired therapeutic benefit. To achieve effective growth factor delivery we designed a bioactive heparin-based coacervate. In vitro, HB-EGF released from the coacervate delivery system displayed enhanced bioactivity and promoted human keratinocyte migration while preserving cell proliferative capability. In a mouse excisional full-thickness wound model, controlled release of HB-EGF within the wound significantly accelerated wound closure more effectively than an equal dosage of free HB-EGF. Healing was induced by rapid re-epithelialization, granulation tissue formation, and accompanied by angiogenesis. Consistent with in vitro results, wounds treated with HB-EGF coacervate exhibited enhanced migration of keratinocytes with retained proliferative potential, forming a confluent layer for regained barrier function within 7 days. Collectively, these results suggest that coacervate-based controlled release of HB-EGF may serve as a new therapy to accelerate healing of cutaneous wounds. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Noah Ray Johnson, Yadong Wang. Controlled delivery of heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor yields fast and comprehensive wound healing. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. 2013 Mar 10;166(2):124-9

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    PMID: 23154193

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