In a study published in the June 1, 2015, online edition of Nature Materials, the researchers reported that the new biomaterial is compatible with human stem cells and showed that it accelerated #healing of wounds in mice.
The skin is an organ system at the interface between our complex anatomy and the often harsh elements of the environment. Normally, wounds in the skin trigger a rapid, orderly, and effective healing process. But serious wounds that span too great an area such as burns or occur in patients with compromised health conditions, such as diabetes and immobility, complicate skin wound healing. Millions of people in the United States are affected by skin wounds that resist repair.
Traditional treatments for such wounds often involve water-based dressings, called hydrogels. While effective in keeping the wound bed hydrated and as a barrier to infection, currently available hydrogels do not provide the physical support for new skin at the critical first stages of the healing process. The UCLA researchers addressed this problem with a reformulated hydrogel incorporating microporous annealed particles (MAPs) — tiny synthetic spheres that adhere to each other. MAPs create a strong scaffold that allows new cells to colonize and begin making new skin. They also enhance blood vessel growth to supply sufficient nutrients for rapid healing.
The idea of a porous scaffold is not new, according to the study’s senior author, Tatiana Segura, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied #Science. “Researchers in the field have known for some time that an interconnected microporous network allows for rapid cellular infiltration into the material without having to degrade it,” she said.
Some skin wounds, such as diabetic ulcers, are chronic and may never heal; others, such as burn wounds, are often large and difficult to treat, resulting in pain, infection and scarring. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have developed a synthetic biomaterial that fills wounds and aids in regeneration of skin cells, which ultimately improves wound healing.
This is great research being done for the care of burn victims … her are some statistics fro the American Burn Association Web site
Burn Incidence and Treatment in the United States: 2015
The following estimates were derived from sample and registry statistics compiled by ongoing national health care and fire casualty surveys, selected state health data systems, and the National Burn Repository (NBR) of the American Burn Association (ABA). ABA NBR reports describe admissions to hospitals with specialized services provided by “burn centers.”
Burn Injuries Receiving Medical Treatment: 486,000
This general estimate is derived mainly from federal surveys which provide annual estimates of hospital admissions and visits to hospital emergency departments. The estimate range acknowledges that some burns may have been treated solely at hospital clinics, community health centers, or private medical offices. Such burns are more likely to be minor, and the number of such facilities sampled is too small to provide reliable estimates for burns.
Sources: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2011 Emergency Department Summary Tables (accessed on January 22, 2015, at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ahcd/web_tables.htm#2011).
Hospitalizations Related to Burn Injury: 40,000, including 30,000 at hospital burn centers
Over 60% of the estimated U.S. acute hospitalizations related to burn injury were admitted to 128 burn centers. Such centers now average over 200 annual admissions for burn injury and skin disorders requiring similar treatment. The other 4,500 U.S. acute care hospitals average less than 3 burn admissions per year.
Sources: National Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS: 2010 data); National Hospital Discharge Survey (2010 data); recent 100% hospitalization data from several states.