Effects of nitric oxide releasing poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel dressings on dermal wound healing in diabetic mice

Kristyn S. Bohl Masters, S. Joseph Leibovich, Paula Belem, Jennifer L. West, Laura A. Poole-Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Healing of chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers is a significant clinical problem. Methods of accelerating healing in these difficult lower extremity sites include use of growth factor-loaded gels, hyperbaric oxygen, grafts, and artificial skin replacements. Nitric oxide (NO) has been proposed as a possible active agent for enhancing wound healing. This study examines the in vitro and in vivo responses to a novel hydrogel that produces therapeutic levels of NO. A hydrogel wound dressing was fabricated using ultraviolet light-initiated polymerization from poly(vinyl alcohol) with a NO donor covalently coupled to the polymer backbone. NO release from the NO-modified hydrogel was shown to occur over a time period of up to 48 hours, and there was no associated decrease in fibroblast growth or viability in vitro associated with NO hydrogels. Fibroblasts in culture with NO hydrogels had an increased production of extracellular matrix compared with cells cultured without the NO hydrogels. Preliminary animal studies in a diabetic mouse, impaired wound healing model were conducted comparing low (0.5 mM) and high (5 mM) doses of NO. Time to complete closure was similar in control wounds and NO-treated wounds; however, at 8 days control wounds were significantly smaller than NO-treated wounds. By days 10 to 13 this delay was no longer apparent. Granulation tissue thickness within the wounds at days 8 and 15 and scar tissue thickness after wound closure were increased in animals exposed to higher dose NO hydrogels. The results of this study suggest that exogenous NO released from a hydrogel wound dressing has potential to modulate wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-294
Number of pages9
JournalWound Repair and Regeneration
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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