In a new development, researchers at the University of California and Duke University have developed a new material for effective healing of skin injury. Also, the biomaterial reduces scarring for a wound. Since the new material quickly degrades once the wound is closed, it demonstrates that turning on an adaptive immune response can trigger restorative wound healing. And, the skin left is stronger and healthily healed.
The basis of the work is hydrogel scaffolds earlier build by the team. The hydrogel scaffolds creates structure to support tissue growth, thereby accelerating wound healing. Meanwhile, a modified version of the hydrogel activates a restorative immune response, showed the team in the new study. This hydrogel has the potential to help heal skin injuries such as cuts, burns, diabetic ulcers, and other wounds. In fact, these wounds normally heal with significant scars and are more susceptible to injury.
Current Hydrogels trigger scar tissues
“For an injury, the body creates scar tissue as fast as possible to reduce the risk of infection, and to reduce pain.” And, in larger wounds, the body acts to create scar tissue to avoid water loss through evaporation,” said a first-author of the paper.
Meanwhile, currently available hydrogels for clinical use rests on the surface of the wound. The hydrogels act as a dressing and help prevent drying of the wound. This, in turn, helps faster healing, albeit via scar formation.
Earlier, in 2015, the research team developed microporous annealed particle hydrogels. These hydrogels are microparticle-based biomaterial that can incorporate into the wound rather than rest on the surface. The linking of the beads within microporous annealed particle gel leaves open spaces, thus, create a porous structure that provides support to cells as they grow in the wound site.