They see the primary application of the plaster in the treatment of burns
Swiss researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a plaster that accelerates wound healing and is easily removed from the wound at any time. Burn victims in particular may profit from this invention in the future.
When one cuts a finger, it is usually sufficient to apply some disinfectant and a simple plaster. The cut will heal in a few days. However, some wounds can take much longer to heal. Burns are a notable example.
Wound healing is dependent on the migration of certain connective tissue cells to the wounded region. These so called fibroblasts normally migrate from the wound edges in a more or less unordered fashion, building new tissue on their way. If migration is impaired, scars result. In bigger wounds, fibroblasts must sometimes travel large distances to enable the creation of new skin – and this takes time.
ETH-Researchers in the group of Dr. Vartan Kurtcuoglu at the Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies under the leadership of Prof. Dimos Poulikakos have developed a new method to guide fibroblasts quickly and efficiently to where they are needed in the healing process, namely from the edges of a wound to its center. As a result, wound healing is accelerated.
A plaster with a special surface
The interdisciplinary research team consisting of engineers and biologists has developed a specialized silicone plaster. This plaster has many tiny parallel grooves on its surface. In a cell culture experiment, a cell layer was wounded by scratching. When the researchers applied the plaster with its grooves parallel to the wound edges (against the direction of wound healing), the scratch healed as fast as a wound under a plaster without grooves. However, when they placed the grooves perpendicular to the wound edges (in the direction of wound healing), they could observe under the microscope that the wound closed faster. The doctoral student Anastasios Marmaras could thus show that this novel plaster does indeed speed up the healing process.
via PhysOrg – Maja Schaffner
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