Angiogenic heparin-mimetic peptide nanofiber gel improves regenerative healing of acute wounds
Wound repair in adult mammals typically ends with the formation of a scar, which prevents full restoration of the function of the healthy tissue, although most of the wounded skin heals. Rapid and functional recovery of major wound injuries requires therapeutic approaches that can enhance the healing process via overcoming mechanical and biochemical problems. In this study, we showed that self-assembled heparin-mimetic peptide nanofiber gel was an effective bioactive wound dressing for the rapid and functional repair of full-thickness excisional wounds in the rat model. The bioactive gel-treated wounds exhibited increased angiogenesis (p < 0.05), re-epithelization (p < 0.05), skin appendage formation, and granulation tissue organization (p < 0.05) compared to sucrose-treated samples. Increased blood vessel numbers in the gel-treated wounds on day 7 suggest that angiogenesis played a key role in improvement of tissue healing in bioactive gel-treated wounds. Overall, the angiogenic heparin-mimetic peptide nanofiber gel is a promising platform for enhancing the scar-free recovery of acute wounds.