Drug Delivery and Translational Research

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 418–433 | Cite as

Topical application of omega-3-, omega-6-, and omega-9-rich oil emulsions for cutaneous wound healing in rats

  • Wan Maznah Wan Ishak
  • Haliza Katas
  • Ng Pei Yuen
  • Maizaton Atmadini Abdullah
  • Mohd Hanif ZulfakarEmail author
Original Article


Wound healing is a physiological event that generates reconstitution and restoration of granulation tissue that ends with scar formation. As omega fatty acids are part of membrane phospholipids and participate in the inflammatory response, we investigated the effects of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids in the form of oils on wound healing. Linseed (LO), evening primrose (EPO), and olive oils (OO) rich in omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids were formulated into emulsions and were topically applied on rats with excision wounds. All omega-3-, omega-6-, and omega-9-rich oil formulations were found to accelerate wound closure compared to untreated, with significant improvement (p < 0.05) being observed at day 14. EPO induced early deposition of collagen as evaluated by Masson trichrome staining that correlated well with the hydroxyproline content assay, with the highest level at days 3 and 7. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) showed greater amount of new microvasculature formed in the EPO-treated group, while moderate improvement occurs in the LO and OO groups. EPO increased both the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and growth factors in the early stage of healing and declined at the later stage of healing. LO modulates the proinflammatory cytokines and chemokine but did not affect the growth factors. In contrast, OO induced the expression of growth factors rather than proinflammatory cytokines. These data suggest that LO, EPO, and OO emulsions promote wound healing but they accomplish this by different mechanisms.


Omega oil Wound healing Emulsion Cytokines Hydroxyproline 


Funding information

This study was supported by a research grant from the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia (ERGS/1/2013/SKK02/UKM/02/3).

Compliance with ethical standards

This manuscript submitted for publication must comply with the current laws of Malaysia.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Animal studies

All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Controlled Release Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Drug Delivery Research, Faculty of PharmacyUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Drug and Herbal Research Centre, Faculty of PharmacyUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia

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