• Greenbottle (Lucilia Sericata) larval secretions delivered from a prototype hydrogel wound dressing accelerate the closure of model wounds.

      Smith, Annie G.; Powis, Rachel A.; Pritchard, D.I.; Britland, Stephen T. (American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), 2008)
      The resurgence of larval biotherapy as a debridement tool in wound management has been accompanied by several clinical reports highlighting concomitant tissue regeneration. Studies employing in vitro cell motility assays have found that purified excretory/secretory (ES) products from Greenbottle larvae (blowfly, Lucilia sericata) are motogenic for human dermal fibroblasts when used as a supplement in culture media. The objective of the present study was to determine whether ES delivered using a prototype hydrogel wound dressing induced similar motogenic effects on fibroblastic (3T3) and epithelial cells (HaCaTs) comprising a scratched-monolayer wound model. Quantitative analysis by MTT assay failed to detect significant mitogenic effects of ES on either cell type. Quantitative image analysis revealed that ES exposure markedly accelerated wound closure through a motogenic effect on both fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Quantitative histochemical analysis detected significantly higher phosphotyrosine (pTyr) expression in ES-exposed cell cultures than in controls; moreover immunocytochemistry revealed conspicuously raised levels of pTyr expression in cells located at the wound margin. By attenuation with a panel of enzyme inhibitors these effects were attributed to the protease components of ES. The present results suggest that controlled delivery of ES as a follow-up to maggot debridement therapy may be an effective therapeutic option for stimulation of tissue regeneration in wound management.
    • Recombinant Lucilia Sericata chymotrypsin in a topical hydrogel formulation degrades human wound eschar ex vivo.

      Britland, Stephen T.; Smith, Annie G.; Finter, Wayne; Eagland, D.; Vowden, Kath; Vowden, Peter; Telford, G.; Brown, A.; Pritchard, D.I. (2011-06)
      Larval biotherapy is a debridement tool used in wound management. The mechanism of action involves degradation of eschar by serine proteases including chymotrypsin within the alimentary fluids of first instar Lucilia sericata. With the rationale of obviating some limitations of biotherapy, including cost, complexity of use, and patient reticence, the present study describes a mobile hydrogel formulation containing freeze-dried recombinant L. sericata chymotrypsin designed for topical application. Neither freeze-drying nor formulation into the hydrogel significantly attenuated the measured activity of released enzyme compared to fresh-frozen enzyme in aqueous solution. Gel electrophoresis confirmed qualitatively that the chymotrypsin/hydrogel formulation both with and without supplementary urea at 10% w/v degraded human chronic wound eschar ex vivo. Mindful that the hallmark of intractability of chronic wounds is aberrant biochemistry, the pH activity profile for the enzyme/hydrogel formulation was compared with exudate pH in chronic wounds of mixed aetiology in a cohort of 48 hospital in-patients. Five patients' wounds were acidic, however, the remainder were predominantly alkaline and coincided with the pH optimum for the insect enzyme. Thus, a recombinant L. sericata chymotrypsin and hydrogel formulation could represent a pragmatic alternative to larval therapy for the management of chronic wounds.