Year 4

Diabetic foot ulcers are a devastating problem, affecting up to 25% of all individuals with diabetes, often resulting in limb amputation, and for which there is little available that provides a durable healing response. That is the clinical problem that our work addresses. Our group has devised a product that combines mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that have been pre-conditioned using proprietary approaches with a skin-like matrix for in-clinic application to chronic diabetic wounds to improve their healing. This product confers many advantages over existing products: it can be used as an off-the-shelf treatment that requires no special freezer at the clinic site (as other cell-containing wound healing products do), it maximizes the reparative properties of MSCs by dual preconditioning (currently unavailable in other products), and addresses both the dermal and epidermal components of the healing process to increase healing of both these compartments. The product has been tested in chronic non-healing wounds in diabetic mice and found to increase healing > 20% over control treatments. Similarly, in an acute excisional wound in a minipig, whose skin healing more closely resembles that of human skin, a 20% increase in healing with the target product is also achieved. Our continued efforts focus on refining the dose of the preconditioning agents and the facilitating the ease of packaging and transport of easy bedside application.