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Injectable scaffolds present compelling opportunities for wound repair and regeneration because of their ability to fill irregularly shaped defects and deliver biologics such as growth factors. In this study, we investigated the properties of injectable polyurethane (PUR) biocomposite scaffolds and their application in cutaneous wound repair using a rat excisional model. The scaffolds have a minimal reaction exotherm and clinically relevant working and setting times. Moreover, the biocomposites have mechanical and thermal properties consistent with rubbery elastomers. In the rat excisional wound model, injection of settable biocomposite scaffolds stented the wounds at early time points, resulting in a regenerative rather than a scarring phenotype at later time points. Measurements of wound length and thickness revealed that the treated wounds were less contracted at day 7 compared to blank wounds. Analysis of cell proliferation and apoptosis showed that the scaffolds were biocompatible and supported tissue ingrowth. Myofibroblast formation and collagen fiber organization provided evidence that the scaffolds have a positive effect on extracellular matrix remodeling by disrupting the formation of an aligned matrix under elevated tension. In summary, we have developed an injectable biodegradable PUR biocomposite scaffold that enhances cutaneous wound healing in a rat model.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.