Wound management and healing in several physiological or pathological conditions, particularly when comorbidities are involved, usually proves to be difficult. This presents complications leading to socio-economic and public health burdens. The accelerative wound healing potential of biocompatible poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates)-co-(6-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHA-PCL) composite hydrogel is reported herein. The biosynthesized PHA-PCL macromer was cross-linked with PEGMA to give a hydrogel. Twenty-four rats weighing 200-250 g each were randomly assigned to four groups of six rats. Rats in group I (negative control) were dressed with sterilized gum acacia paste in 10% normal saline while PEGMA-alone hydrogel (PH) was used to dress group II (secondary control) rats. Group III rats were dressed with PHAs-PCL cross-linked PEGMA hydrogel (PPH). For the positive control (group IV), the rats were dressed with Intrasite(®) gel. Biochemical, histomorphometric and immunohistomorphometric analyses revealed a significant difference in area closure and re-epithelialization on days 7 and 14 in PPH or Intrasite(®) gel groups compared to gum acacia or PEGMA-alone groups. Furthermore, wounds dressed with PPH or Intrasite(®) gel showed evident collagen deposition, enhanced fibrosis and extensively organized angiogenesis on day 14 compared to the negative control group. While improvement in wound healing of the PH dressed group could be observed, there was no significant difference between the negative control group and the PH dressed group in any of the tests. The findings suggested that topical application of PPH accelerated the rats' wound healing process by improving angiogenesis attributed to the increased microvessel density (MVD) and expressions of VEGF-A in tissue samples. Thus, PPH has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of cutaneous wounds in rats, and could be a potential novel agent in the management and acceleration of wound healing in humans and animals.
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