Acellular Hydrogels for Regenerative Burn Wound Healing: Translation from a Porcine Model

Yu I. Shen, Hyun Ho G. Song, Arianne E. Papa, Jacqueline A. Burke, Susan W. Volk, Sharon Gerecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Currently available skin grafts and skin substitutes for healing following third-degree burn injuries are fraught with complications, often resulting in long-term physical and psychological sequelae. Synthetic treatment that can promote wound healing in a regenerative manner would provide an off-the-shelf, non-immunogenic strategy to improve clinical care of severe burn wounds. Here, we demonstrate the vulnerary efficacy and accelerated healing mechanism of a dextran-based hydrogel in a third-degree porcine burn model. The model was optimized to allow examination of the hydrogel treatment for clinical translation and its regenerative response mechanisms. Hydrogel treatment accelerated third-degree burn wound healing by rapid wound closure, improved re-epithelialization, enhanced extracellular matrix remodeling, and greater nerve reinnervation, compared with the dressing-treated group. These effects appear to be mediated through the ability of the hydrogel to facilitate a rapid but brief initial inflammatory response that coherently stimulates neovascularization within the granulation tissue during the first week of treatment, followed by an efficient vascular regression to promote a regenerative healing process. Our results suggest that the dextran-based hydrogels may substantially improve healing quality and reduce skin grafting incidents and thus pave the way for clinical studies to improve the care of severe burn injury patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2519-2529
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 14 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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