Nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles accelerate wound healing by promoting fibroblast migration and collagen deposition.
ABSTRACT Wound healing is a complex process that involves coordinated interactions between diverse immunological and biological systems. Long-term wounds remain a challenging clinical problem, affecting approximately 6 million patients per year, with a high economic impact. To exacerbate the problem, these wounds render the individual susceptible to life-threatening microbial infections. Because current therapeutic strategies have proved suboptimal, it is imperative to focus on new therapeutic approaches and the development of technologies for both short- and long-term wound management. In recent years, nitric oxide (NO) has emerged as a critical molecule in wound healing, with NO levels increasing rapidly after skin damage and gradually decreasing as the healing process progresses. In this study, we examined the effects of a novel NO-releasing nanoparticle technology on wound healing in mice. The results show that the NO nanoparticles (NO-np) significantly accelerated wound healing. NO-np modified leukocyte migration and increased tumor growth factor-β production in the wound area, which subsequently promoted angiogenesis to enhance the healing process. By using human dermal fibroblasts, we demonstrate that NO-np increased fibroblast migration and collagen deposition in wounded tissue. Together, these data show that NO-releasing nanoparticles have the ability to modulate and accelerate wound healing in a pleiotropic manner.