Wound healing can be accelerated by removing necrotic tissue. Various methods of wound debridement have been developed, including enzymatic debridement. Recently potent proteolytic enzymes were isolated from the intestine of Euphausia superba (Antarctic krill) that might be useful for degrading necrotic tissue. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the debriding properties of krill enzymes, using a specially designed animal model and a computerized analysis system. In 10 female domestic pigs, each weighing 20 kg, 6 artificial ulcers were made on each animal's back using electrokeratome, followed by application of trichloracetic acid. Ulcers were treated twice daily for 7 days with either krill enzymes at different concentrations or with saline. Reduction of necrotic tissue was measured daily using computerized wound analysis. Histological examination included the determination of bromodeoxyuridine incorporation in order to detect cell proliferation as well as routine stains.The debriding effect of krill enzymes at a concentration of ≥ 3.0 casein units per ml was significantly better than saline control treatment (p < 0.05). The effect was dose dependent, and granulation tissue formation was enhanced. In conclusion, krill enzymes are effective in wound debridement, as measured in this animal model.
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