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Healing burns fast with spray-on nanogel

Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 01:28

Researchers in Singapore are developing a new type of peptide-base hydrogel that acts as a natural scaffold, allowing burn wounds to heal faster than ever before while decreasing the risk of infection. Ben Gruber reports.

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STORY: Researchers in Singapore say this gel will change the way burns are treated. It's made of short strings of amino acids called peptides, and Charlotte Hauser has figured how to make them self-assemble into a gel that heals burns better and faster than current treatments. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INSTITUTE OF BIOENGINEERING AND NANOTECHNOLOGY PRINCIPAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST CHARLOTTE HAUSER SAYING: "So these peptides form these fibres, and then they can make scaffolds and these scaffolds you can imagine as fishing nets in 3D." When applied to burn wounds, these 3D fishing net-like structures provide damaged skin cells with an ideal environment to regenerate. In lab trials, burns treated with the gel healed completely after two weeks. Wounds treated with a silicone dressing only healed by 63 percent over the same period. Hauser says her nanogel, developed at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, could also transform the cosmetics industry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INSTITUTE OF BIOENGINEERING AND NANOTECHNOLOGY PRINCIPAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST CHARLOTTE HAUSER SAYING: "We can handle it in a different way, we can even inject it. So even here, for my wrinkles, which I already have a few, we can use it for example, for derma fillers, we have a study running on derma fillers as well." Her team is now working on producing the peptide gel on an industrial scale...and hope to make a simple, spray-on burn treatment a reality to anyone in need.

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Healing burns fast with spray-on nanogel

Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 01:28