From 1 October to 31 December, Svetlana Pankova, a postgraduate student of the Department of Biophysics and Biotechnology of Voronezh State University, is studying immobilised proteolytic enzymes as a basis for complex wound healing agents at Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University.
The work received financial support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research as part of the competition of research projects carried out by young scientists under the supervision of scientists with PhD and DSc degrees in scientific organisations of the Russian Federation (mol_nr).
Proteolytic enzymes are widely used in the healing of superficial wounds as they remove necrotic (dead) tissues and thin the exudate. Over the past 5 years, there has been much discussion regarding the possibility of removing bacterial biofilms from the surface of wounds by using proteinases. However, the use of soluble enzymes has a number of disadvantages, such as low stability, application difficulties, and, as a result, short therapeutic action. For the first time, scientists from VSU and Kazan Federal University are suggesting the development of different methods of obtaining ficin (from fig juice), a plant proteinase preparation immobilised on chitosan, and the evaluation of its possible application for the acceleration of microbial decontamination, disinfection, enhanced efficiency of antimicrobial therapy by increased accessibility of cells for antibiotics and, consequently, acceleration of wound healing and tissue restoration.
This project is a follow-up to previously received in vitro results indicating that staphylococcus biofilms are effectively destroyed by ficin and the concentration of antibiotics required for their eradication is reduced by 10 times. Since chitosan itself has a therapeutic effect acting not only as a matrix but as an active substance, cumulative effect of proteinases immobilised on chitosan on the process of wound healing and microbial decontamination can be expected.
These aspects have not been described in any research yet and are being explored for the first time. In this project, for the first time, is a proposal for obtaining the preparations of immobilised ficin allowing for controllable desorption. This can serve as the basis for the development of bandages with dosed enzyme release to prevent the infection of wound surfaces.