The power of super healing- “wolverine effect”

By Ushanandini Mohanraj

Wound is a painful affair. And a wound that doesn’t heal is dreadful. Since recent years research on a quick healing of wounds is under the limelight. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could posses a technology that might heal our wound in a jiffy just like my favorite X-man character “wolverine”? This sounds impossible, but a recent wound healing technology is somewhat closer!

A super cool injectible hydrogel that helps skin wounds heal more quickly has been developed by researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. The material creates an instant scaffold that allows new tissue to latch on and grow within the cavities formed between linked spheres of gel.

The skin wounds should be kept moist because wet wounds heal much faster than dry wounds. To accomplish this doctors often use topically applied hydrogel dressings or films, to seal over or cap the wound and provide moisture. In other cases, ointments are used to fill in the wound, much like filling a pothole with new asphalt. However, none of these materials provide an optimal scaffold to allow new tissue to grow as they degrade. As a result, the new tissue growth is relatively slow and fragile.

This new technology overcomes this disadvantage. The packed cluster of microscopic synthetic polymer spheres creates a scaffold of microporous annealed particles (MAP) that fills in the wound. New tissue quickly grows into the voids between the microspheres, and as the spheres degrade into the body, a matrix of newly grown tissue is left where the wound once was. New tissue continues growing until the wound is completely healed.

Dino Di Carlo, one of the investigators in the study said, “Achieving a biomaterial that promotes rapid regeneration while maintaining structural support has been a holy grail in the field of tissue engineering”.

This holy grail surely raises hopes! May all your wounds heal!

Reference:

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-researchers-develop-new-material-to-accelerate-healing

Image:

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/26/human-skin-strength

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