Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Douglas Hamilton

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Amin Rizkalla


Chronic wounds present a significant burden to patients, causing pain, impairing limb function, and often resulting in the need for amputation. Treatment of chronic dermal wounds is challenging, with current therapies showing limited efficacy in clinical trials. As galectin-3 has been implicated in several wound healing processes, its efficacy as a therapeutic in skin healing was investigated in this study. An electrospun gelatin scaffold loaded with galectin-3 was developed as a delivery system. The influence of human recombinant galectin-3 in skin healing, when delivered topically and using an electrospun scaffold, was then investigated in wild type and diabetic mice. Electrospun gelatin/galectin-3 scaffolds were developed having an overall porosity of approximately 83% and average pore diameter of approximately 1.15 μm. The scaffolds supported the adhesion, deposition of matrix, and proliferation of human dermal fibroblasts in vitro providing evidence that they are biocompatible. In vivo treatment of wounds with topical galectin-3 and gelatin/galectin-3 scaffolds did not affect wound closure, re-epithelialization or macrophage phenotypes in the wound, casting doubt on its efficacy for these processes. Future work is required to elucidate the exact pathological contexts in which galectin-3 might modulate inflammation in skin healing.

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