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BME researchers at NC State have developed a fibrin that mimics the body’s natural clotting process to treat chronic wounds. Chronic wounds, such as diabetic ulcers or deep-tissue burns, heal slowly or not at all and are thus prone to infection. With support from the Office of Research Commercialization, they are patenting this new technology that could help heal chronic wounds faster and more effectively.

“Fibrin is the primary protein that’s involved in blood clotting, but it also forms an important scaffold to promote healing after clotting stops,” says BME assistant professor Ashley Brown, a co-inventor of the patent-pending technology and the leader of NC State’s Advanced Wound Healing Lab. “What happens most of the time with chronic wounds is they get stuck in the inflammatory stage, so you don’t have enough of that initial fibrin scaffold for the subsequent cells to come in and rebuild the tissue.” 

To address this problem, Brown teamed up with Fran Ligler, the Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Together, they are making preformed fibrin into customized nanoparticles. Brown and Ligler’s nanoparticles deliver fibrin in physiologically relevant densities, which is what’s needed to mimic the mesh-like substance the body creates. They have also shown that it’s possible to attach growth factors, antibiotics or other healing aids to the fibrin nanoparticles. Ligler says this delivery system allows for a slower, more controlled release of these healing aids compared to adding them directly to a wound. Their patent application process for Brown and Ligler’s technology is projected to run through summer 2022. Many congratulations to Brown and Ligler on this patent and discovery! For the full news, visit NC State news website here.

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