Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore developed a “nanogel” that’s excellent at promoting the healing of second and third degree burns in animal studies. The material is made out of peptide hydrogels that works like a scaffold within which cells can grow. When water is added to this scaffold, the peptides naturally group together into fibers, trapping the water inside. This allows the material to be both porous, while retaining moisture that helps promote cellular growth.
The researchers compared the material against commonly used silicone dressings and found it to be significantly more effective at wound healing. There haven’t been human studies done yet, but the findings are certainly promising.
Some more details from IBN:
In animal studies, IBN’s hydrogels achieved close to 100% wound closure after just 2 weeks compared to silicone dressing, which only healed 63% of the injured area.
This work builds on the ultrashort peptides discovered in 2009 by Dr Charlotte Hauser, IBN Team Leader and Principal Research Scientist. The aliphatic peptides were designed using much fewer amino acids compared to existing self-assembling peptides. Non-immunogenic and non-toxic, the peptides are ideal for a variety of biomedical applications.
“Ultimately, we hope to develop a gel that can incorporate bioactive agents to further enhance skin regeneration. Our peptides could also be used to develop synthetic skin substitutes for deeper burns,” said Dr Hauser.
Study in Biomaterials: ULTRASHORT PEPTIDE NANOFIBROUS HYDROGELS FOR THE ACCELERATION OF HEALING OF BURN WOUNDS…
Press release: IBN’s Nanogel Heals Burn Wounds Faster…