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HESTEFORSK - Raskere og bedre sårheling hos hest med autologe hudkomponenter

Awarded: NOK 0.98 mill.

Limb wounds in horses are common, however healing is exceedingly slow and fraught with complications. Contrary to body wounds, limb wounds demonstrate only a small amount of wound contraction. The specialist procedure of applying split-thickness skin grafts to limb wounds stimulates wound contraction by unknown mechanisms. The objective of this project is to identify those mechanisms to develop a treatment strategy for equine limb wounds for use in general practice. Limb wounds are severely impacting animal welfare due to an extended healing/treatment duration, and the risk of euthanasia due to a poor functional outcome. By stimulating wound contraction, healing time will be reduced, and the functional outcome improved, directly benefitting the welfare of wounded horse and reducing treatment cost for the owner. Aim: To identify dermal components stimulating wound contraction, and to develop this knowledge into future state-of-the-art treatment of equine limb wounds for use in general practice. Hypotheses: i) Application of dermal fractions to collagen gels seeded with equine fibroblasts will increase gel contraction in vitro; ii) Application of dermal fractions to experimental limb wounds in vivo, will increase wound contraction resulting in a faster healing time versus wounds treated by conventional methods. Methods: i) The contractile effect of different dermal components will be assessed in a collagen gel/ fibroblast model; ii) Identified dermal components will be tested in a standardized experimental limb wound model in vivo (n=5). Ultimately, results from this project are expected to improve wound treatment in horses, directly impacting animal welfare by reducing healing time and improving the functional outcome of wounded horses. This will also directly benefit horse owners and caretakers and making veterinarians able to offer better treatment solutions.

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