Scientists Develop Novel Polymer That Promotes Healing Of Diabetic Wounds 

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Researchers have developed a novel compound that can expedite the healing of diabetic wounds with just a single application. 

Novel polymer promotes the healing of diabetic wounds 

University of Nottingham researchers have identified a novel class of polymers that can train non-immune and immune cells to promote healing in severe diabetic wounds. Advanced Materials has published the findings.

The formation of new tissue necessary for the healing process is a complicated biological mechanism involving the cooperation of many different cell types, with fibroblasts playing a crucial role. Diabetes can interfere with these cellular functions, resulting in slow and challenging wound healing. This may result in infections and, worst situations, the requirement for amputation.

School of Life Sciences and Pharmacy researchers screened around 315 polymer surfaces. First, it examined the chemical composition until it came up with a polymer compound that drives immune cells and fibroblasts to promote healing. Next, experts from the School of Engineering created small particles decorated with the polymer on their surface. 

Polymers are chemical compounds comprising bonded molecules in long, repeating chains. The structure’s unique properties make it possible to be tailored for various uses. For example, researchers used polymer microparticles to demonstrate how the new material can produce 3x more fibroblast activity within 9 hours and attained wound closure of around 80%. 

The polymer offers fast and effective treatment 

Interestingly this new polymer can be used as a coating to dress wounds and offer a quick and effective treatment. 

According to professors Amir Ghaemmaghami of the School of Life Sciences, the research is important in creating new, low-cost treatments for diabetic wounds. He added that they witnessed results with a single application, which could be vital for patients experiencing repeated treatments. University of Nottingham School of Pharmacy’s Professor Morgan Alexander said they have previously demonstrated the potential of new polymers. So far, their bacterial biofilm-resistant materials have proved important on urinary catheters, demonstrating how they can prevent infection by changing bacterial cell behaviour at the polymer surface. Therefore these polymers could be applied to dressings. 

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