Hydrogel That Could Grow Healthy, Scar-Free Tissue for Burn Victims

More

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a hydrogel that might help to grow healthy, scar-free tissue. The hydrogel is a water-based, three-dimensional framework of polymers created by researchers from JHU's Whiting School of Engineering and Bayview Medical Center Burn Center. The results of early experiments with mouse tissue, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are looking quite promising.

The experiment showed that the hydrogel treatment promotes the development of new blood vessels and the regeneration of complex layers of skin, including hair follicles and the glands that produce skin oil. The hydrogel is easy to manufacture and could lead to better, inexpensive burn wound treatments. The hydrogel does not contain any drugs or biological components to make it work, making it easier to get approved for use on human patients.

Lead author Guoming Sun has been working with the hydrogels, searching for ways to improve angiogenesis. The hydrogel allows tissue regeneration and blood vessel formation to occur very quickly, which lowers the chance for scarring.

The researchers don't fully understand yet how the hydrogel works. The original intention was to add growth factors, but surprisingly the hydrogel itself worked well, even in the absence of the growth factors. The plan is to further develop and fine-tune the material for use in other skin conditions, such as skin ulcers.


This post also appears on medGadget, an Atlantic partner site.

Jump to comments
Presented by

medGadget is written by a group of MDs and biomedical engineers.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

In a series of candid video interviews, women talk about self-image, self-judgement, and what it means to love their bodies


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In