According to information on diabetes people will often not notice when they receive skin wounds, which proceed to heal very slowly. Those wounds can thus become chronic, sometimes even leading to amputations. A new regenerative bandage, however, could help keep this from happening.Led by Prof. Guillermo Ameer, a team from Illinois’ Northwestern University started with a protein known as laminin. Found in the skin and most of the body’s other tissues, it communicates with cells, prompting them to differentiate, migrate and adhere to one another.
The scientists were able to identify a specific segment of the protein, which plays a key role in the wound-healing process. According to information on diabetes segment is made up of just 12 amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), and it’s called A5G81. Because A5G81 is so much smaller and simpler than the entire laminin protein, it’s much cheaper and easier to synthesize in the lab.Ameer’s team did so, then added it to a previously-developed antioxidant hydrogel bandage. That bandage takes the form of a liquid when initially applied to the skin, but then thickens into a stiff gel after being heated to body temperature. This allows it to do two things.