Expertise in Elastin

Scientific Background

Figure 1: Schematic representation of an elastic fiber comprising an elastin core and a sheath structure of fibrillin-rich microfibrils.

The evolution of vertebrates was accompanied by the development of flexible and extensible tissues. This is evident, for example, from the pronounced structural changes in the walls of blood vessels that were required for conversion from an open to a closed circulatory system. The properties of elasticity and extensibility were made possible primarily by the emergence of elastic fibers, which are very abundant in larger blood vessels. The fibers store the potential energy required to maintain blood flow during diastole and in this way enable proper cardiovascular function. Elastic fibers are also found in many other organs that must be reversibly deformable for physiological function. These include the lungs, skin, elastic cartilage or ligaments. Elastic fibers are found in the extracellular matrix (ECM) and consist of an outer sheath of fibrillin-rich microfibrils and a dense core of elastin, which accounts for over 90% of the total volume, as shown schematically in Figure 1.

Relevance of elastin for dermatology

Prof. Dr. Johannes Wohlrab, Senior Physician at the University Clinic and Polyclinic for Dermatology and Venerology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, estimates the potential of elastin in wound treatment:

»Wound healing is a complex regeneration process in which the formation of a connective tissue matrix is crucial for defect augmentation. Elastin plays an essential role in this process, not only for the texturization of the tissue, but above all for the formation of a microenvironment in which the completion of regenerative processes is made possible.

Elastin synthesis disorders are one of the causes of chronic wound healing disorders. Therefore, substitution of elastin in the therapy of wound healing disorders is rationally well justified. However, suitable preparations or medical devices to use this therapeutic option are missing in practice so far.

Elastin is one of the essential components for physiological wound healing within the granulation phase.

The substitution of elastin in the therapy of wound healing disorders represents an innovative and, from a dermatological point of view, promising novel option for care management.

Elastin is one of the building blocks that essentially determines a regeneration of connective tissue in the context of wound healing.«