Flowable keratin biomaterials for improving infection control and wound healing.
The improvement of body armor, equipment, and decreases in patient transport times have dramatically improved survival of combat injuries. However, data suggests that future conflicts will require more aggressive wound management at the point of injury to deal with more complex wounds particularly with respect to infection control. There is a significant need to develop better platform technologies for these injuries and translate them into clinical and commercial use. A family of biomaterials derived from keratin proteins may provide a platform on which regenerative strategies can be built. Keratins have intrinsic cell-binding properties that can be exploited to offer potential new solutions to wound healing and have been shown to be a viable platform for the controlled delivery of various drugs. This Phase I proposal seeks to leverage the advantages of the keratin biomaterial system for the initial testing of the release profile of various classes of antimicrobial agents. These flowable keratin biomaterial scaffolds will then be used in standard wound healing assays to determine their effect on healing. Results will be used to develop optimal formulation of keratin protein and antimicrobial agent to move into in vivo safety and efficacy studies in Phase II of the award.
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