Healing

  • ​Most people think of turmeric as a kitchen spice, or perhaps as a health supplement that's taken orally. Now, however, scientists have incorporated curcumin – a compound extracted FROM turmeric – into a porous foam that's designed to heal skin wounds with a minimum of scarring.
  • A number of research groups around the world have already produced promising experimental versions of futuristic bandages that could take our healing game to the next level. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting examples.
  • Slapping on a Band-Aid is the easiest way to help a cut on your skin heal, but things aren’t so simple for internal wounds. Now, researchers from Harvard have developed spray-on hydrogels, produced by bacteria, that can help heal these internal wounds.
  • ​With a few experimental exceptions, bandages generally just cover wounds, as opposed to actively healing them. That's not the case with a new heat-activated "active adhesive dressing" (AAD), however, which forgoes antibiotics while mimicking embryonic skin.
  • ​We've already heard how electrical pulses have been shown to help heal wounds, by promoting tissue growth. An experimental new implant uses that same principle to aid in the regeneration of cardiac tissue, potentially postponing or even eliminating the need for heart transplants.
  • ​For many years now, scientists have been seeking methods of helping to heal chronic wounds such as those suffered by diabetics. One of the latest possible techniques involves re-engineering the membranes of stem cells, so that those cells essentially get welded together.
  • A woman in Scotland has been found to have a previously-unknown genetic mutation that makes her almost completely immune to pain. Her wounds heal faster and she seems to have less anxiety and fear. Geneticists are now studying the genes responsible to uncover new potential treatments for pain relief
  • Scientists have come up with a molecule that can spur different cells into action throughout different stages of wound healing, enabling a new kind of dynamic technology that could be channeled into materials that respond to the task at hand.
  • For some time now, scientists have known that electrical currents can help heal chronic wounds. And while there are electrotherapy units that are in use, they can be quite bulky and complex. That's why researchers have created an "electric bandage" that's powered by the motion of the body.
  • Scientists in Switzerland have developed a new form of hydrogel they say has unparalleled adhesive properties, a characteristic that could prove particularly useful in trying to repair cartilage and meniscus. ​
  • ​Although we've already heard about hydrogels that help to heal chronic wounds, the University of New Hampshire's Asst. Prof. Kyung Jae Jeong states that most of them aren't porous enough. An inexpensive micro-hole-filled gel made by his team, however, is claimed to perform much better.
  • ​If you need to close up an injury or incision in human body tissue, you use sutures, staples or a surgical adhesive … right? Well, if technology that's currently being developed at Arizona State University gets commercialized, liquid silk combined with gold may eventually be a better way to go.