Polyelectrolyte Complexes (PEC) for Promoting Wound Healing and Hair Growth


The pictures show the progression of wound closure and hair growth around the skin wound. Both PEC film groups show improved wound closure and signs of hair growth as early as day 21. The hair growth is primarily localized to the skin area that was under the PEC film during treatment.

Invention Summary:

Common complications of diabetes include chronic, non-healing wounds of the skin (about 25% of diabetic patients), hair shaft thinning, and diffuse hair loss. Underlying causes include prolonged inflammation that impairs progression through normal healing stages, i.e., proliferation and maturation/remodeling, and inhibition of skin renewal capacity and hair follicle regeneration. Current treatments focus on managing blood glucose and using a range of expensive methods to promote wound closure.

Rutgers researchers have developed a new use for polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) films, a patented innovation that prevents postoperative adhesions. The current technology uses PEC films to improve wound healing and hair growth at the site of the skin lesion. It has a unique composition of biomaterials (60% chitosan and 40% polygalacturonic acid) that can help promote wound healing and hair growth in patients suffering from chronic diabetic wounds and hair loss. The material can also be used as a scaffold for local delivery of bioactive compounds (such as vRAGE in the figure above) that further stimulate healing.

Market Applications:

  • A wound dressing with dual functions to promote diabetic wound healing.
  • A wound dressing made for promoting hair growth around the diabetic wound area.


  • Simple and non-invasive implementation
  • Non-toxic film and non-toxic degradation products
  • Dual functionality for simultaneously promoting both diabetic wound healing and hair growth.

Intellectual Property & Development Status: Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration. For any business development and other collaborative partnerships contact marketingbd@research.rutgers.edu.

Patent Information: