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Department of Biomedical Engineering


Diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) are a major health problem associated with diabetes mellitus. Impaired nitric oxide (NO) production has been shown to be a major contributor to the dysregulation of healing in DFU. The level of impairment is not known primarily due to challenges with measuring NO. Herein, we report the actual level of NO produced by human dermal fibroblasts cultured under normal and high glucose conditions. Fibroblasts produce the extracellular matrix, which facilitate the migration of keratinocytes to close wounds. The results show that NO production was significantly higher in normal glucose compared to high glucose conditions. The real-time NO detected was compared to the nitrite present in the culture media and there was a direct correlation between real-time NO and nitrite in normal glucose conditions. However, real-time NO detection and nitrite measurement did not correlate under high glucose conditions. The inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) enzyme responsible for NO production was upregulated in normal and high glucose conditions and the proliferation rate of fibroblasts was not statistically different in all the treatment groups. Relying only on nitrite to assess NO production is not an accurate determinant of the NO present in the wound bed in pathological states such as diabetes mellitus.

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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( Publisher’s version of record:

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Medical Sciences

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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