Medical

Nanoparticles help wounds to heal 50 percent faster

Nanoparticles help wounds to h...
Burns healed in half the time in mice treated with the nanoparticles compared to those left to heal naturally (Image: David Sharp)
Burns healed in half the time in mice treated with the nanoparticles compared to those left to heal naturally (Image: David Sharp)
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Mice treated with the FL2-inhibiting nanoparticles had burns heal 50 percent faster than those without, and the healing extended to collagen and hair follicle formation (Image: Vera DesMarais/Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
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Mice treated with the FL2-inhibiting nanoparticles had burns heal 50 percent faster than those without, and the healing extended to collagen and hair follicle formation (Image: Vera DesMarais/Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
Burns healed in half the time in mice treated with the nanoparticles compared to those left to heal naturally (Image: David Sharp)
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Burns healed in half the time in mice treated with the nanoparticles compared to those left to heal naturally (Image: David Sharp)

An experimental nanoparticle therapy cuts in half the time wounds take to heal compared to natural healing. The therapy has already been tested successfully in mice and will soon be tried on pigs, whose skin is similar to that of humans. If it reaches clinical use in humans, this sort of nanoparticle therapy could be used to speed healing of surgical incisions, chronic skin ulcers, and everyday cuts and burns and other wounds.

Researchers have found that an enzyme called fidgetin-like 2 (FL2) slows the rate at which skin cells migrate to wounds to heal them. If this enzyme is suppressed, skin cells move faster. Molecules of silencing RNA (siRNA) that bind to a gene's messenger RNA (mRNA) have been used to inhibit the development of FL2, but this alone won't be effective, the researchers note, unless the siRNAs are placed in some kind of delivery vehicle that can protect them from degradation.

For this purpose a research team at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has developed nanoparticles that ferry the molecules safely to their intended targets, with impressive results in mice with skin excisions or burns.

Mice treated with the FL2-inhibiting nanoparticles had burns heal 50 percent faster than those without, and the healing extended to collagen and hair follicle formation (Image: Vera DesMarais/Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
Mice treated with the FL2-inhibiting nanoparticles had burns heal 50 percent faster than those without, and the healing extended to collagen and hair follicle formation (Image: Vera DesMarais/Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

"Not only did the cells move into the wounds faster, but they knew what to do when they got there," said co-lead researcher David Sharp. "We saw normal, well-orchestrated regeneration of tissue, including hair follicles and the skin's supportive collagen network."

The technique has been patented and licensed to a company called MicroCures, Inc., where David Sharp is currently acting as a chief scientific officer.

A paper describing the research was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Source: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

3 comments
flink
The sooner this make it way into the field the better,
piperTom
Unlikely that "everyday cuts and burns" will see any help soon. Unless medical bureaucrats (i.e. the US FDA) approve it for over the counter sale, the barrier between your ordinary cut an this treatment is (1) getting an appointment with an MD, (2) a half day off from work, (3) ~$50 fee for the doctor, and (4) the cost of the treatment itself. One must hope that it will be available on the black market.
Lbrewer42
This might be a great idea.. except obamacare will kill its widespread usage along with the other health killing policies it has brought about. But aside from this, there likely is a reason our systems have FL2 enzyme that slows the healing process. I like the idea of faster healing, but I hope they have done adequate research to make sure inhibiting this enzyme won't make problems. That being said... a great breakthrough!