Wound healing remains a major issue in surgery. None of the existing treatment modalities in caring for wounds can yet claim to be the holy grail of wound management. Channa striatus, locally known in Malaysia as Haruan, is a freshwater air-breathing carnivorous fish that is proven to influence the different phases of wound healing. As a medicinal fish, not only does Haruan have a high content of amino and fatty acids, which are essential in collagen fibre synthesis during wound recovery, it also abounds in arachidonic acid and polyunsaturated fatty acids that promote prostaglandin synthesis, a vital component of the healing process. Moreover, its antinociceptive effects could potentially reduce wound pain, an important factor in wound healing. Proteomic studies show that a quarter of the total protein detected in freeze- and spray-dried C. striatus extract are actin, myosin and tropomyosin – all molecules that play a role in the wound healing process. Proteomic profiling also reveals that Haruan possesses two types of collagen namely collagen type-I and type-II that confer tensile strength during the healing process. It is proven that collagen along with other components of the extracellular matrix form the granulation tissue which, when contracted, closes the wound and concomitantly aligns the collagen fibres in the extracellular matrix. Hence, it is inferred that Haruan promotes the maturation of granulation tissue, thereby expediting the wound healing process itself. Consequently, it could mediate a faster recovery from surgical wound coupled with a lower incidence of wound infection due to an improved and accelerated wound healing process. Additionally, Haruan has demonstrated its ability in promoting angiogenesis and cell proliferation in wound bed preparation for skin grafting. Furthermore, a Haruan aerosol concentrate can act as a wound dressing at the donor site thereby enhancing the healing process while simultaneously exhibiting some antinociceptive properties. Haruan’s exceptional ability in promoting wound healing together with its potential use in skin grafting would be instrumental in the field of surgery. In essence, the cumulated benefits from all the processes involved would translate into a significant reduction of hospitalisation cost; that would immensely benefit not only the patient, but also the government.
Part of the book: Skin Grafts for Successful Wound Closure