The role of oxidised regenerated cellulose/collagen in chronic wound repair and its potential mechanism of action

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2002 Dec;34(12):1544-56. doi: 10.1016/s1357-2725(02)00054-7.


Normal wound healing is a carefully controlled balance of destructive processes necessary to remove damaged tissue and repair processes which lead to new tissue formation. Proteases and growth factors play a pivotal role in regulating this balance, and if disrupted in favour of degradation then delayed healing ensues; a trait of chronic wounds. Whilst there are many types of chronic wounds, biochemically they are thought to be similar in that they are characterised by a prolonged inflammatory phase, which results in elevated levels of proteases and diminished growth factor activity. This increase in proteolytic activity and subsequent degradation of growth factors is thought to contribute to the net tissue loss associated with these chronic wounds. In this study, we describe a new wound treatment, comprising oxidised regenerated cellulose and collagen (ORC/collagen), which can redress this imbalance and modify the chronic wound environment. We demonstrate that ORC/collagen can inactivate potentially harmful factors such as proteases, oxygen free radicals and excess metal ions present in chronic wound fluid, whilst simultaneously protecting positive factors such as growth factors and delivering them back to the wound. These characteristics suggest a beneficial role for this material in helping to re-balance the chronic wound environment and therefore promote healing.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopolymers / pharmacology*
  • Biopolymers / therapeutic use
  • Cellulose, Oxidized / pharmacology*
  • Cellulose, Oxidized / therapeutic use
  • Chronic Disease
  • Collagen / pharmacology*
  • Collagen / therapeutic use
  • Diabetic Foot / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Foot / enzymology
  • Diabetic Foot / pathology
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Occlusive Dressings
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Zinc / metabolism


  • Biopolymers
  • Cellulose, Oxidized
  • Free Radicals
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Collagen
  • Iron
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Zinc