Chronic wound management is an enormous economic strain and quality-of-life issue for patients. Current treatments are ineffective or expensive and invasive. Materials (native and artificial) can act as the basis to enhance wound repair but often fall short of complete healing. The therapeutic index of materials have often been enhanced by combining them with drug or biologic elution technologies. Combination of materials with living drugs (cells) presents a new paradigm for enhancing therapy. Cell material interaction and therapeutic output will depend on variables ascribed to the living drug as well as variables ascribed to the underlying matrix. In this article, we review medical matrices currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would likely be the first generation of materials to be used in this manner. Currently there are hundreds of different materials on the market. Identification of the right combinations would benefit from a classification scheme to group materials with similar composition or derivation. We provide a classification scheme and FDA documentation references that should provide researchers and clinicians a starting point for testing these materials in the laboratory and rapidly transitioning cell therapies to the bedside.
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