Aurase is an investigational product containing maggot enzymes that aims to help remove dead or diseased tissue in a wound

Benefits

  • Increased wound healing
  • Reduced infections

Applications

  • Medical treatment

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

The Challenge

Access and delivery of wound care are both significant problems that challenge patients suffering from chronic wounds. In the United States, chronic ulcers are conservatively estimated to cost the health care system $28 billion each year as a primary diagnosis and up to $31.7 billion as a secondary diagnosis. There is also a profound psychological impact on the patients suffering from chronic wounds, such as loneliness, separation from active social life, and depression.

Innovation Details

Aurase® is an investigational product consisting of a hydrogel designed to be used in wound debridement to help remove dead or diseased tissue. It contains an enzyme isolated and cloned from medical maggots. Maggots feed on dead and dying tissue and are known to secrete enzymes that allow them to digest the wound debris, leaving behind a healthy wound for healing. Using maggots to clean chronic wounds in a hospital is a challenge because sterile rearing, shipment, and application require highly trained personnel and complex infrastructure. As a gel-based product, Aurase aims to be quickly and easily applied to infected wounds to activate the body’s own wound cleansing processes. Aurase is expected to cause no irritation or damage to healthy tissue, and reduce the time to full debridement without delaying wound healing.

computer model of Aurase patch being applied to a wounded leg

Biomimicry Story

Maggots lack the teeth or beaks that would enable them to tear into old, dried-out meat. Instead, their mouth hooks and rough skin scrape away dead flesh as they crawl across a carcass. Then they secrete enzymes that liquefy the dead tissue, making it easier to swallow and digest. Maggot secretions contain at least 185 individual peptidase enzymes, some of which have been linked to reducing inflammation, eliminating bacteria, coagulating blood, and stimulating healing responses.