(1) Background: Cardiotonic steroids have been found to stimulate collagen synthesis and might be potential wound healing therapeutics. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of digitoxigenin and its topical formulation for wound healing; (2) Methods: In the in vitro study, the human dermal fibroblast cells were treated with digitoxigenin and collagen synthesis was assessed. In the in vivo study, digitoxigenin was applied to excisional full-thickness wounds in rats immediately after wounding and remained for three days, and wound open was evaluated over 10 days. A digitoxigenin formulation for topical administration was prepared, and the in vitro release and in vivo wound healing effect were investigated; (3) Results: The expression of procollagen in human dermal fibroblast was significantly increased with the exposure to 0.1 nM digitoxigenin. Topical application of digitoxigenin in olive oil or alginate solution for three days significantly decreased the wound open in rats. Similarly, topical administration of the developed digitoxigenin formulation for three days also significantly increased wound healing. No wound healing effects were observed at days 7 and 10 after wounding when digitoxigenin was not applied; and, (4) Conclusions: It was possible to deliver digitoxigenin using the developed formulation. However, the wound healing effect of digitoxigenin and its mechanisms need to be further investigated in future studies.
Feng, X.; Wang, C.; Xu, Y.; Turley, J.; Xie, Z.; Pierre, S.V.; Hao, J. Topical Digitoxigenin for Wound Healing: A Feasibility Study. Bioengineering 2018, 5, 21.