Soy Proteins as a New Biomaterial with Applications in Wound Healing

Use of naturally derived materials for biomedical applications is steadily increasing. Soy protein has advantages over various types of natural proteins employed for biomedical applications due to its availability, low cost, non-animal origin and versatility in processing. In the current study, we developed three types of novel soy-protein structures for wound dressing applications: A dense structure, a porous structure, and a hybrid structure which combines a dense layer with a spongy porous layer. Another uniqueness of our soy protein wound dressings is that they contain bioactive agents, i.e. an analgesic drug, an antibiotic drug, and a hemostatic agent, all designed to be released locally to the wound site. Our investigation focused on the effects of formulation and process parameters on the wound dressings' properties and on the drug release profiles from them. We found that the mechanical properties in tension and the physical properties are affected mainly by the formulation parameters. Higher crosslinking agent content resulted in enhanced strength, while higher plasticizer content resulted in higher water uptake, higher swelling, and lower degradation rate. The in-vivo results indicate that these new soy-based wound dressings can provide  new solutions to old unmet needs.