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January 1961

Debridement of Wounds with a Maya Protease Enzyme

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery of Harlem Hospital, Department of Hospitals, New York.

Arch Surg. 1961;82(1):163-166. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300070167020

The use of enzymes as adjuncts in the management of wounds has received much attention in recent years. A variety of enzymes and enzyme activators have been recommended.1-4

The following report represents our experience with an enzymatic preparation of maya protease for the debriding of burns, ulcers, and necrotic wounds.

This proteolytic enzyme is derived from the juice of the tropical maya fruit or Bromelia pinguin L. Denatured collagen and excised burn eschar were found in in vitro experiments to be readily digested by this substance. In vivo the enzyme acts from the surface downward.

The maya protease was supplied in a package which contained a glassine envelope and a jar of sterile buffered base. In the glassine envelope were one packet of sterile powdered maya protease, one sterile applicator, and one sterile plastic film. To prepare for topical application, the maya protease powder was thoroughly mixed with the