Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Polymer Gel Prevents Skin Grafts From Shrinking

Date:
January 29, 2008
Source:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Summary:
A gel that could prevent the painful and disfiguring contractions of skin grafts used to treat burns has been developed. When skin is irreparably damaged by burns, skin taken from other areas of the patient's body -- or created by tissue engineering -- is grafted onto the burned area. Although grafts often heal successfully, the skin shrinks significantly in nearly a third of patients. The process is painful and disabling, and particularly common in children.

Engineered tissue.
Credit: Copyright Kroto Research Institute, University Of Sheffield, UK

A gel that could prevent the painful and disfiguring contractions of skin grafts used to treat burns has been developed by British scientists.

Related Articles


When skin is irreparably damaged by burns, skin taken from other areas of the patient’s body – or created by tissue engineering – is grafted onto the burned area. Although grafts often heal successfully, the skin shrinks significantly in nearly a third of patients. The process is painful and disabling, and particularly common in children.

Karima Bertal and colleagues at the University of Sheffield have now developed an enzyme-inhibiting drug which can halve this contraction, and loaded it into a biocompatible polymer gel to smear onto the graft. Bertal presented the group’s preliminary results at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Biomaterials conference in Manchester, UK, earlier this month.

Sheila MacNeil, the scientist who leads the research, told Chemistry World that currently the only accepted treatment for graft contraction is to have the patient wear pressure garments – extremely tight clothing that pushes down on the dermis to prevent it forming bumps of contracted tissue.

Her research team found that an enzyme called lysyl oxidase is involved in causing the graft contraction, as it ties together collagen fibres in the deep dermal layer of the skin. Then they identified a compound that inhibits the enzyme, called 3-aminopropionitrile, and combined it with a biocompatible polymer gel invented by chemist Steve Armes, also at Sheffield.

Tests of the drug on human skin samples were successful: ‘The control grafts contract to about 60 per cent of their original size, but [when the drug is applied] they only contract down to 80 per cent,’ Bertal told Chemistry World.

The gel also works as they hoped: ‘Our polymer gel is well tolerated by the skin and releases the drug in a controlled manner over about 48 hours,’ she said.

The team has now started testing the drug-gel combination itself on human skin samples, and early results looks promising, said MacNeil. ‘If they’re successful, we would like to move into the clinic,’ she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Society of Chemistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Royal Society of Chemistry. "Polymer Gel Prevents Skin Grafts From Shrinking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124111033.htm>.
Royal Society of Chemistry. (2008, January 29). Polymer Gel Prevents Skin Grafts From Shrinking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124111033.htm
Royal Society of Chemistry. "Polymer Gel Prevents Skin Grafts From Shrinking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080124111033.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins