Impact of sildenafil-containing ointment on wound healing in healthy and experimental diabetic rats



The study evaluated the effect of different concentrations of sildenafil-containing ointment on wound healing in healthy and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats.


A total of 108 Sprague Dawley male rats aged 5 months were randomly divided into two groups: healthy and diabetes-inducing rats. Following induction of diabetes by intraperitoneal STZ injection (55 mg/kg), diabetic and healthy rats were subdivided into six groups (9 rats each). Linear incisions of the dorsal backs of rats were made. Then, rats were treated twice daily with either 2%, 2% + Fucidin, 5% sildenafil-containing ointments, oral sildenafil (13.0 mg/kg), moist exposed burn ointment or vehicle. During treatment, the percent reduction of the wound area and tensile strength were measured on days 3, 7 and 10. Furthermore, histopathology was performed on the wounded skin on similar days for the assessment of collagen synthesis and proliferation of new capillary vessels.


In healthy and STZ-induced diabetic rats, the percent reduction in wound area on day 3 was significantly higher in sildenafil-containing ointment-treated groups than all other groups, whereas on day 7 only the 5% sildenafil-containing ointment-treated group showed better response in healthy rats. Although the sildenafil-containing ointment significantly showed better tensile strength than all other groups, the 5% sildenafil-treated group significantly enhanced the tensile better than the 2% and 2% + Fucidin dose. Furthermore, the histological evaluation revealed that sildenafil-containing ointment promoted collagen synthesis and proliferation of new capillary vessels.


Our results suggest that sildenafil-containing ointment can provide an advantage in wound healing by promoting wound contractions and resistance to wound breakage in healthy and diabetic conditions. Therefore, 5% sildenafil-containing ointment can be used as a support factor for wound healing in healthy and diabetic conditions; however, clinical trials are required to confirm the benefits of sildenafil in wound healing.

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We thank University of Petra Pharmaceutical Center (UPPC) and Ms. Hana Khalaf for her valuable help in performing the histological work.


This work was funded by a grant from the Deanship of Academic Research at the University of Petra (15-4/2018).

Author information




WAD and WAR conceived the proposed idea and took the lead in the drafting of the manuscript. WAR and HYA-M contributed to the analysis and/or interpretation of the data for the research, HYA-M wrote the final manuscript and critically revised it for appropriate intellectual content, and all authors approved the final version of manuscript to be published.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hisham Y. Al-Matubsi.

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Ethical approval

This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of Al-Ahliyya Amman University (AAU; number AAU-Pharm-09-2018).

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This study did not involve human participants so informed consent were not needed.

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Abu Dayyih, W., Abu Rayyan, W. & Al-Matubsi, H.Y. Impact of sildenafil-containing ointment on wound healing in healthy and experimental diabetic rats. Acta Diabetol (2020).

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  • Sildenafil ointment
  • Wound healing
  • Diabetic
  • Tensile strength