This new wound dressing seals, protects and prevents scar formation

This new wound dressing seals, protects and prevents scar formation

A dressing is a covering of gauze, cotton, or other sterile material that is applied to a wound or diseased area to protect it from infection, absorb secretions, control bleeding, or facilitate healing. University of Chicago researcher Xiaoyang Wu has developed a new wound dressing that can stop bleeding while preventing infection and scarring using a single material, which has potential applications in drug delivery , among other areas.

Transforming growth factor beta

Beyond cosmetic surgery, current scar treatment is not ideal, and there is no reliable way to prevent scars from forming if a patient experiences a deep or dirty wound.

Taking a materials science approach, the researchers developed a new method to overcome scars by inhibiting collagen synthesis by blocking transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), a cytokine that plays an important role in cell signaling , both in the repair of skin wounds and in tissue fibrosis. According to Wu:

Increasing evidence suggests that TGF-β is important in the initial phase of wound repair for wound closure. But later on, the signal can promote and improve scars. This makes timing key. We cannot just block the signal, because that would slow wound healing and be dangerous for the patient.

To overcome this, the researchers designed a timed-release system that combines a sutureless wound closure hydrogel material with a biodegradable microcapsule system, allowing them to control when the TGF-β inhibitor is released. In this way, the skin wound repair can be improved and after 7-14 days the inhibitor blocking the skin healing process can be released at the same time using a material.

Wu has also noted that it has applications within the body, adhering to and closing bleeding arteries and heart walls after irradiation with ultraviolet light. The researchers demonstrated the ability to do this in animal models, suggesting significant advantages as a traumatic wound sealant .