Accelerated healing of cutaneous wounds using phytochemically stabilized gold nanoparticle deposited hydrocolloid membranes
Rapid healing of dermatological wounds is of vital importance in preventing infection and reducing post-treatment side-effects. Here we report the therapeutic effects of phytochemically stabilized gold nanoparticles (pAuNPs) coated on a hydrocolloid membrane (HCM) for curing cutaneous wounds. Furthermore, the remedial effects of pAuNPs on skin regeneration and angiogenesis were examined using Sprague Dawley® (SD) rats with skin injuries after a pAuNP-deposited hydrocolloid membrane (pAuNP-HCM) had been applied for 15 days. The rate of wound closure was 4 times faster in the pAuNP-HCM-treated group than in the gauze (GZ)- or HCM-treated groups in the first 5 days. Moreover, wound widths in the pAuNP-HCM-treated group were significantly reduced after 5–15 days of treatment following the injury, compared with the other groups. In addition, a significant increase in collagen expression and a decrease in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 expression and transforming growth factor (TGF-β1) concentration were observed in the pAuNP-HCM-treated group on day 5. Wound tissue applied with the pAuNP-HCM showed enhancement of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin 1 (Ang-1), and angiopoietin 2 (Ang-2) expression. Furthermore, the activity of superoxide dismutases (SODs) was significantly increased in the skin tissue of the pAuNP-HCM-treated group, compared with the GZ- or HCM-treated groups. It is probable that the accelerated process of wound healing in the injured skin of SD rats via pAuNP-HCM results from the synergistic regulation of angiogenesis and connective tissue formation, as well as the stimulation of antioxidant effects.