Electrospun fibers for the treatment of skin diseases

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Skin diseases are among the most common diseases in the global population and with the growth of the aging population, they represent an increasing burden to healthcare systems worldwide. Even though they are rarely life-threatening, the suffering for those affected is high due to the visibility and physical discomfort related to these diseases. Typical symptoms of skin diseases include an inflamed, swollen or itchy skin, and therefore, there is a high demand for effective therapy options. In recent years, electrospinning has attracted considerable interest in the field of drug delivery. The technique allows producing multifunctional drug-loaded fibrous patches from various natural and synthetic polymers with fiber diameters in the nano- and micrometer range, suitable for the treatment of a wide variety of skin diseases. The great potential of electrospun fiber patches not only lies in their tunable drug release properties and the possibility to entrap a variety of therapeutic compounds, but they also provide physical and mechanical protection to the impaired skin area, exhibit a high surface area, allow gas exchange, absorb exudate due to their porous structure and are cytocompatible and biodegradable. In the case of wound healing, cell adhesion is promoted due to the resemblance of the electrospun fibers to the structure of the native extracellular matrix. This review gives an overview of the potential applications of electrospun fibers in skin therapy. In addition to the treatment of bacterial, diabetic and burn wounds, focus is placed on inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, and therapeutic options for the treatment of skin cancer, acne vulgaris and herpes labialis are discussed. While we aim to emphasize the great potential of electrospun fiber patches for the treatment of skin diseases with this review paper, we also highlight challenges and limitations of current research in the field.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society
Pages (from-to)621-640
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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