Scientists have created a hydrogel to repair the skin after burns


17/12/2011

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed a jelly-like material for the treatment of third-degree burns, demonstrated during his early experiments incredible properties of complete healing and regeneration of damaged skin. At the site there is a new serious burns perfectly healthy tissue without scarring.

In the December issue of the online version of the journal Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers reported their promising results of tests carried out on mice skin tissue. A new method for recovery of damaged skin has not yet been tested on humans. But the researchers are confident that this procedure, which promotes the formation of new blood vessels and skin, including hair follicles, could soon become an improved method of treatment for wounded soldiers, victims of house fires and other people with third-degree burns.

Wound meant ordinary dressing on it, using a specially designed hydrogel - three-dimensional framework of polymers, water-based.

Third degree burns are usually destroy the upper layers of skin down to the muscle tissue. They require complex medical care and often leave ugly scars on the skin. But in the journal article, the research team reported that they created hydrogel showed incredible results. "Our method of therapy with the use of hydrogel contributed to the development of new blood vessels and the regeneration of complex layers of skin, including hair follicles and glands that produce sebum," - said Sharon Gerecht (Sharon Gerecht), professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, who was the leader of the study.

Gerecht and his colleagues reported that they do not yet fully understand how the hydrogel. After the gel is in contact with the affected area of skin tissue begins to recover through the various stages of wound healing, as explained Gerecht. After 21 days, the gel is absorbed into the skin without any adverse effects, and in the place of damaged tissue appears normal healthy skin.

The hydrogel is based on water with dissolved and polysaccharides dextran (molecular chain sugars). "It is possible that the physical structure of the hydrogel and is the cause of healing and tissue repair," Gerecht said. Other investigators suspected that the hydrogel circulating bone marrow stem cells into the bloodstream. Stem cells are special cells that can turn into virtually any kind of tissue motion to hold the correct chemical processes. "Perhaps, the gel is somehow sends the appropriate signals to the stem cells of the need to create a new skin and blood vessels," said one of the researchers.

Gerecht said the hydrogel could form the basis of creating a new inexpensive method of treatment of burns, which would act much better than anything currently available clinical methods, adding that the drug will be easy to produce in large quantities. Gerecht has also proposed that the Office of the Food and Drug Administration United States classified the drug as a unit, as the hydrogel contains no drugs or biological components.

The researchers plan to conduct a series of further tests on animals before beginning trials on patients. But Gerecht assured that "the hydrogel will be approved for clinical use in several years of testing."

John Harmon (John Harmon), a professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who participated in the study, described the results of experiments conducted on mice as "hugely successful," noting that: "We managed to get a complete regeneration of the skin, which is not possible with the typical method of treatment burn wounds. "

Original: Medicalxpress


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