John W. Sessions,
David G. Armstrong,
Brian D. Jensen
Traditional methods for addressing chronic wounds focus on correcting dysfunction by controlling extracellular elements. This review highlights technologies that take a different approach – enhancing chronic wound healing by genetic modification to wound beds. Featured cutaneous transduction/transfection methods include viral modalities (i.e. adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses, retroviruses, and lentiviruses) and conventional non-viral modalities (i.e. naked DNA injections, micro-seeding, liposomal reagents, particle bombardment, and electroporation). Also explored are emerging technologies, focusing on the exciting capabilities of wound diagnostics such as pyrosequencing as well as site-specific nuclease editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 used to both transiently and permanently genetically modify resident wound bed cells. Additionally, new non-viral transfection methods (i.e. conjugated nanoparticles,
multi-electrode arrays, and microfabricated needles and nanowires) are discussed that can potentially facilitate more efficient and safe transgene delivery to skin but also represent significant advances broadly to tissue regeneration research.