Acute and chronic wound care continues to pose major challenges in both civilian and military forces. It is estimated that 6 million people in the United States were affected by chronic wounds, such as venous ulcers. As of November 2005, 15,568 US soldiers in Operation Iraqi Freedom were wounded and about 50% of the injured were unable to return to duty within 72 hours of injury. Wounds, acute or chronic, not only threaten the life of the wounded, but also increase frailty in the elderly, decrease quality of life, and loss in productivity. The high costs associated with the management of slow-healing wounds have an enormous impact on the economy. In the US alone, $2.8 billion is spent annually to treat chronic wounds and the worldwide market reaches $7 billion. This problem can partially be alleviated by rapid wound healing. Currently, extensive efforts are being made to develop growth factors as wound healing agents; however, not all studies show the same results further growth factors do not provide any antimicrobial effects to prevent infection. Delayed cell growth and migration of keratinocytes and fibroblasts and microbial infections at the wound site impairs wound healing. We propose to use lactoferrin (LF) as a novel wound healing agent based on its ability to promote cell growth and its antimicrobial properties. To test the effectiveness of LF on wound healing, recombinant human LF (rhLF), produced in rice, will be purified and examined for its effects on the proliferation and migration of human epithelial keratinocyte and fibroblast in vitro. To study the effects of rhLF on cell migration, an incisional wound cell model will be used and the migration of cells will be observed. Data from these in vitro studies will provide the fundamental basis for future investigation of rhLF on wound healing in an animal model and in humans. In addition, purification procedures developed in Phase I will be implemented in scale-up processing of rhLF for Phase II. The long term goal of this project is to commercialize a new topical agent for rapid wound healing, which would in turn decrease the burden wounds have on the economy and society. Project Narrative: The high costs associated with the management of wounds have an enormous impact on the economy. Administration of a novel topical wound healing agent, lactoferrin (LF) would promote cell growth/migration with added benefit of preventing/treating bacterial infections. The use of LF would 1) alleviate the burden wounds have on the economy and society and 2) benefit the elderly, diabetics, immunocompromised patients, and military forces injured in combat. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-MOSS-K (12))
Program Officer
Ikeda, Richard A
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Ventria Bioscience
Fort Collins
United States
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Tang, Ling; Cui, Tengjiao; Wu, James J et al. (2010) A rice-derived recombinant human lactoferrin stimulates fibroblast proliferation, migration, and sustains cell survival. Wound Repair Regen 18:123-31
Tang, L; Wu, J J; Ma, Q et al. (2010) Human lactoferrin stimulates skin keratinocyte function and wound re-epithelialization. Br J Dermatol 163:38-47