The Role of Silver in Wound Healing Part 3 Matrix Metalloproteinases in Normal and Impaired Wound Healing: A Potential Role of Nanocrystalline Silver

Robert Kirsner, Heather Orsted, J. Barry Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are part of a group of proteolytic enzymes that are important in various repair and inflammatory processes. Dysregulation of MMPs and other proteinases has been linked to a number of pathologic processes, including such chronic inflammatory disorders as rheumatoid arthritis, periodontal disease, and chronic wounds. Of the proteolytic enzymes, MMPs have received the most attention with regard to wound healing. MMPs appear to be important in acute wound healing. Differences exist between the amounts, timing, and distribu-tion of MMPs and their inhibitors (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases [TIMPs]) in acute and chronic wounds. This suggests that this imbalance may be important in the development and duration of chronic wounds. In fact, alteration of the MMP/TIMP ratio changes with the healing of chronic wounds. Therapies used to treat chronic wounds may impact upon MMPs and their inhibitors, and attention to alterations of MMPs with therapy may be an important endpoint. Among those therapies that likely impact MMPs is the use of nanocystalline silver dressings. Animal studies have shown that nanocystalline silver dressings alter MMP expression. In this paper we will review MMPs, the role of MMPs in wound healing, and present preliminary data of the ability to alter MMP expression in chronic human wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3 SUPPL. C
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this