Anti-MicroRNAs to Improve Slow-healing Wounds

Anti–MicroRNAs for Slow-healing WoundsOften wounds heal slowly due to inappropriate wound management, infection or because of an underlying disease such as diabetes. In such wounds, it is critical that the assessment and diagnostic process are correct. The more wound healing is delayed the more it impacts the patient. Wound clinics and hospitals can speed up their documentation process with the use of advanced wound EMRs. Clear documentation facilitates faster treatment as well.

MicroRNAs are involved in different stages of wound healing. MicroRNAs are non-coding RNA molecules that play a key role in the occurrence and manifestation of various diseases. Many microRNAs also play an important role in vital biological processes such as cell division and death, cellular metabolism, intracellular signaling, immunity and cell movement. Though researchers had developed antimiRs to block microRNA function, it was not possible to use these only locally. Researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have successfully used light-inducible antimiRs in the treatment of impaired wound healing.

These antimiRs can be activated very effectively over a limited local area by using light of a specific wavelength. For the research purpose, the therapeutic effect of these new antimiRs is tested on microRNA-92a, which is frequently found in diabetes patients with slow-healing wounds. They injected the antimiRs in the light-sensitive cage into the skin of mice and then released the therapeutic agent into the tissue with the help of light. This test proved that pinpointed activation of an antimiR against microRNA-92a helps wounds to heal.

The research has proven that:

  • For the first time wound healing can be improved by using antimiRs to block microRNA-92a
  • MicroRNA-92a function is indeed only locally inhibited
  • Also, organs such as the liver were not affected

Further research is necessary to see whether the team can expand the use of light-inducible antimiRs to the treatment of other diseases. It is also critical to examine whether toxic antimiRs can attack tumors locally as well.