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Heat-responsive bandage helps heal wounds

by • August 18, 2016 • No Comments

Over the years, scientists have come up with bandages to detect bedsores preceding they look, paint-on bandages that tell doctors how the healing system is coming along, and dressings that alter color when an infection is present. Now, a team of researchers of Northwestern University has made a stem cell-attracting bandage with a single purpose in mind – giving the body a helping hand in healing diabetic injures.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, an estimated 415 million individuals across the globe suffer of the condition, and one man dies of it each six seconds. As the disease develops, it can cause nerve injure, and frequently patients can lose the aptitude to fully feel their feet. This means that when a diabetic man cuts their foot, or gets a thing as ordinary as a blister, they sometimes won’t notice it at all, and therefore won’t treat it.

Additionally, high glucose levels synonymous with the condition can thicken capillary walls, slowing down blood circulation and producing it additional complex for the body to get the cells to the injure site, and get the healing system underway. When the two issues are combined, it is actually effortless to see how a small injury can outcome in a life-threatening situation.

Scientists have searched for solutions to the issue, but they’ve yet to land on anything that tackles the situation without worthwhile side impacts. For example, according to a report of Northwestern, a gel has been created that helps with healing, but its contents have been linked with increased cancer risk.

A new bandage created by a team at the university may improve the situation. It’s created of polyethylene glycol – a plastic commonly utilized for medical applications – combined with the protein SDF-1. The protein is the material’s secret weapon, as it attracts stem cells to the injure, that can and so start quickly creating new blood vessels to improve circulation and generally accelerate the healing system.

The bandage is thermo-responsive, meaning it can be applied to the injure bed in liquid form, solidifying into a gel at body temperature. Once applied to a injure, it slowly releases the protein, helping to speed up healing. Once the bandage has done its job, cooling it down – that can be done with a chilled saline solution – turns it back into a liquid, that makes it simpler to remove than standard bandages, that can cause injure to injures when removed.

Testing out the regenerative bandage, the team discovered that it was indeed much additional effective than standard techniques and materials, with blood flow worthwhilely increased at the injure site.

“The repair system is impaired in individuals with diabetes,” said study member and professor of biomedical engineering, Guillermo Ameer. “By mimicking the repair system that takes place in a healthy body, we have demonstrated a promising new way to treat diabetic injures.”

The researchers published their work online in the Journal of Controlled Release.

Source: Northwestern University

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