Pre-clinical evaluation of amphiphilic silicone oligomers for scar remediation

Lynam, Emily Clare (2011) Pre-clinical evaluation of amphiphilic silicone oligomers for scar remediation. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The formation of hypertrophic scars is a frequent outcome of wound repair and often requires further therapy with treatments such as silicone gel sheets (SGS; Perkins et al., 1983). Although widely used, knowledge regarding SGS and their mechanism of action on hypertrophic scars is limited. Furthermore, SGS require consistent application for at least twelve hours a day for up to twelve consecutive months, beginning as soon as wound reepithelialisation has occurred. Preliminary research at QUT has shown that some species of silicone present in SGS have the ability to permeate into collagen gel skin mimetics upon exposure. An analogue of these species, GP226, was found to decrease both collagen synthesis and the total amount of collagen present following exposure to cultures of cells derived from hypertrophic scars. This silicone of interest was a crude mixture of silicone species, which resolved into five fractions of different molecular weight. These five fractions were found to have differing effects on collagen synthesis and cell viability following exposure to fibroblasts derived from hypertrophic scars (HSF), keloid scars (KF) and normal skin (nHSF and nKF). The research performed herein continues to further assess the potential of GP226 and its fractions for scar remediation by determining in more detail its effects on HSF, KF, nHSF, nKF and human keratinocytes (HK) in terms of cell viability and proliferation at various time points. Through these studies it was revealed that Fraction IV was the most active fraction as it induced a reduction in cell viability and proliferation most similar to that observed with GP226. Cells undergoing apoptosis were also detected in HSF cultures exposed to GP226 and Fraction IV using the Tunel assay (Roche). These investigations were difficult to pursue further as the fractionation process used for GP226 was labour-intensive and time inefficient. Therefore a number of silicones with similar structure to Fraction IV were synthesised and screened for their effect following application to HSF and nHSF. PDMS7-g-PEG7, a silicone-PEG copolymer of low molecular weight and low hydrophilic-lipophilic balance factor, was found to be the most effective at reducing cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis in cultures of HSF, nHSF and HK. Further studies investigated gene expression through microarray and superarray techniques and demonstrated that many genes are differentially expressed in HSF following treatment with GP226, Fraction IV and PDMS7-g-PEG7. In brief, it was demonstrated that genes for TGFβ1 and TNF are not differentially regulated while genes for AIFM2, IL8, NSMAF, SMAD7, TRAF3 and IGF2R show increased expression (>1.8 fold change) following treatment with PDMS7-g-PEG7. In addition, genes for αSMA, TRAF2, COL1A1 and COL3A1 have decreased expression (>-1.8 fold change) following treatment with GP226, Fraction IV and PDMS7-g-PEG7. The data obtained suggest that many different pathways related to apoptosis and collagen synthesis are affected in HSF following exposure to PDMS7-g-PEG7. The significance is that silicone-PEG copolymers, such as GP226, Fraction IV and PDMS7-g-PEG7, could potentially be a non-invasive substitute to apoptosis-inducing chemical agents that are currently used as scar treatments. It is anticipated that these findings will ultimately contribute to the development of a novel scar therapy with faster action and improved outcomes for patients suffering from hypertrophic scars.

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ID Code: 47998
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Upton, Zee & George, Graeme
Keywords: wound healing, hypertrophic scar, silicone, fibroblasts, keratinocytes, apoptosis, gene expression
Divisions: Past > Schools > Cell & Molecular Biosciences
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 10 Jan 2012 05:09
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2012 06:12

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