July 20, 2021

Wayne State research funded by NIH may lead to new treatment for diabetic wound healing

DETROIT – Nearly 20% of the 30 million diabetic patients in the United States end up with foot ulcers that lead to amputations. The current treatment regimen has limited success due to a lack of understanding of the molecular mechanisms of compounds used to treat foot ulcers.

A research team from Wayne State University’s Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences aims to change this problem by finding a breakthrough in wound care protocols.

                                                      Zhengping Yi

With the help of a four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, the team — led by Zhengping Yi, Ph.D., professor of pharmaceutical sciences and Jiemei Wang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences — will explore the molecular mechanisms of an FDA-approved oral formula of the small molecules trans-resveratrol (tRES) and hesperetin (HESP) to assess its effect on diabetic wound healing in cell culture and animal models.

“Our objective for this research project is to explore how theis formula can be transformed into a topical application and used to promote new blood vessel growth in non-healing wounds in diabetic patients,” said Yi. “The outcome of the proposed research will unveil new molecular mechanisms that will aid in diabetic wound healing, and ultimately lower the number of amputation surgeries.”

The team will begin evaluations of the formula and its underlying molecular mechanisms in human vascular endothelial cells for the initial phase of the project. In future phases, they will use a combination of cell culture and animal studies along with cutting-edge proteomics studies to perform a global analysis of cell signaling and unbiased discovery.

“The FDA has not approved the tRes and HESP formulation to treat diabetic wound healing, and we are hopeful that the results of our study may lead to obtaining FDA approval for a new diabetic wound treatment,” said Wang.

For more information about this study, “Mechanistic study of small-molecular therapy in diabetic wound healing,” visit https://reporter.nih.gov/search/BN-kCvA7nkyFCXojslqqSg/project-details/10235239.

The grant number for this National Institutes of Health award is DK128937.

About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit research.wayne.edu.


Julie O'Connor
Phone: 313-577-8845
Email: julie.oconnor@wayne.edu

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