Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Interdisciplinary Biomedical Studies (Medicine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Jie Li

Second Committee Member

Tongyu Cao

Third Committee Member

Hadar Lev-Tov

Fourth Committee Member

Stephen Davis

Fifth Committee Member

Irena Pastar

Sixth Committee Member

Zhao-Jun Liu


Wound care and the associated morbidity and mortality as well as high cost continue to pose major challenges in medicine and society, especially due to chronic non-healing wounds. In recent years, alternative medicine has become increasingly used for the chronic wounds due to its natural origins, weaker side effects, and low cost compared to synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. This study tested the effects of a topical Chinese herbal medicine used for the chronic wounds, called “Healing Paste,” on the functions of skin cells during the wound healing process as well different strains of bacteria that commonly colonize chronic wounds. The “Healing Paste” is a mixture of 5 herbs of Bai Ji (Blettilla striata), Mo Yao (Myrrh), Ru Xiang (Frankincense), San Qi (Pseudoginseng), and Xue Jie (Draconis Sanguis). Using cell migration and proliferation assays, the study has demonstrated that Bai Ji and San Qi can promote cell migration and proliferation. In addition, multiple individual components and a mix of all 5 components exert inhibitory effects on methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa growth. This study revealed information on the mechanisms of the paste, providing scientific evidence for its usage, and subsequently could lead to the development of an improved formulation for clinical applications.


Herbal medicine; wound healing; microbial; migration; proliferation

Available for download on Friday, August 06, 2021