An update and review of cell-based wound dressings and their integration into clinical practice
Chronic wounds affect over 4 million individuals and pose a significant burden to the US healthcare system. Diabetes, venous stasis, radiation or paralysis are common risk factors for chronic wounds. Unfortunately, the current standard of care (SOC) has a high relapse rate and these wounds continue to adversely affect patients’ quality of life. Fortunately, advances in tissue engineering have allowed for the development of cell-based wound dressings that promote wound healing by improving cell migration and differentiation. As the available options continue to increase in quantity and quality, it is important for physicians to have an easy to use guide to understand the optimal dressing to use in each given situation. The objective of this review is to identify the currently available biologic dressings, describe their indications, and provide a framework for integration into clinical practice. This review included 53 studies consisting of prospective and retrospective cohorts as well as several randomized control trials. Three general categories of cell-based biologic dressings were identified and nine brands were included. Cell-based biologic dressings have shown efficacy in a broad range of scenarios, and studies examining their efficacy have improved our understanding of the pathophysiology of chronic wounds. Amniotic and placental membranes have the widest scope and can be used to treat all subtypes of chronic wounds. Human skin allografts and bioengineered skin substitutes can be used for chronic ulcers but generally require a vascularized wound bed. Autologous platelet rich plasma (PRP) has shown promise in venous stasis ulcers and decubitus ulcers that have failed conventional treatment. Overall, more research is necessary to determine if these novel therapeutic options will change the current SOC, but current studies demonstrate encouraging results in the treatment of chronic wounds.