New materials could 'drive wound healing' by harnessing natural healing methods
Researchers have developed new bioinspired material that interacts with surrounding tissues to promote healing.
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After an injury, cells 'crawl' through the collagen 'scaffolds' found in wounds, like spiders navigating webs. As they move, they pull on the scaffold, which activates hidden healing proteins that begin to repair injured tissue.The researchers designed TrAPs as a way to recreate this natural healing method. They folded the DNA segments into three-dimensional shapes known as aptamers that cling tightly to proteins. Then, they attached a customisable 'handle' that cells can grab onto on one end, before attaching the opposite end to a scaffold such as collagen.
During laboratory testing of their technique, they found that cells pulled on the TrAPs as they crawled through the collagen scaffolds. The pulling made the TrAPs unravel like shoelaces to reveal and activate the healing proteins. These proteins instruct the healing cells to grow and multiply.The researchers also found that by changing the cellular 'handle', they can change which type of cell can grab hold and pull, letting them tailor TrAPs to release specific therapeutic proteins based on which cells are present at a given point in time. In doing so, the TrAPs produce materials that can smartly interact with the correct type of cell at the correct time during wound repair.
Imperial College London. "New materials could 'drive wound healing' by harnessing natural healing methods." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2019.
Skin and Stem Cell Research Center (SSRC) was established in March 2010 with the support from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The SSRC is directed by professor Nilforoushzadeh in collaborating closely with an advisory board that is comprised of dermatology faculty and aims to serve as a research and educational center to promote scientific advancement in Iran. .
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