Inflammation is a major pathogenic factor underlying impaired wound healing.
As a consequence, protease activities reach excessive levels which degrade growth factors and newly produced extracellular matrix. Wound healing stalls, a healthy and robust granulation tissue does not form. Surgical debridement is recommended by numerous guidelines and expert recommendations. Yet, few patients have access in the outpatient setting. Alternative options are needed which can be used by experts and nonspecialists.
We analyzed whether polymers in wound dressings can reduce protease activities to normal levels and improve the emergence of granulation tissue. Polyacrylates can block excessive protease levels by 87%. A randomized controlled trial showed that a dressings containing polyacrylates (HydroClean) was able to induce significantly more granulation tissue in venous leg ulcers compared with the control group receiving an amorphous hydrogel.