Aims: To evaluate the use of a new cell-tailored carrier surface (TranCell) for delivery of autologous keratinocytes to promote wound healing in patients with chronic neuropathic foot ulcers.
Methods: TranCell is a sterile medical grade polymer coated with a plasma-polymerized functional surface containing 20% carboxylic acid which enables keratinocytes to attach and proliferate. Six diabetic patients with neuropathic ulcers resistant to conventional therapy were treated with weekly applications of autologous keratinocytes delivered on TranCell. A split-thickness skin biopsy was taken from each patient followed by isolation, expansion and freezing down of keratinocytes. Keratinocytes were thawed and seeded on TranCell 48 h prior to application. This procedure was repeated weekly in addition to conventional therapy until wound healing was achieved.
Results: Complete healing was achieved in six out of nine ulcers in six patients, a reduction in ulcer size was achieved in one ulcer and no response was seen in one ulcer. Treatment was discontinued in one patient due to development of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after only three applications of TranCell. Wound healing took 6-17 applications over 6-20 weeks. There were no recurrences in the healed ulcers after a follow-up of 6 months.
Conclusions: TranCell delivery of autologous cells is a promising treatment for chronic diabetic foot ulcers with no side-effects and no recurrence in the healed ulcers.