Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageSeaweed provides an unusual treatment process for wounds

By Tim Sandle     Feb 3, 2016 in Science
To accelerate the treatment of wounds, scientists have experimented with adding stem cells to plasters and bandages. The optimal method for this is locking stem cells into a matrix fashioned from seaweed.
The novel research is led by Professor Che Connon, who works in the Tissue Engineering at Newcastle University, U.K. Applications for the bandages include treating ulcers or burns with stem-cell impregnated dressings.
The research has shown the most effective stem cells are those taken from fat tissues. These are termed “adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells.” The stem cells function to reduce inflammation and they accelerate skin healing. Stem cells have the potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth.
The holding material for the stem cells is an alginate gel made from a type of brown seaweed. For the process, stem cells are removed from a freezer and carefully mixed with the modified gel. This encapsulated the stem cells within a protective layer. Around one million stem cells are used in each application.
This allows the process to function at room temperature. The gel acts as a protective layer for the stem cells, guarding them from environmental stressors. Previous trials with stem cells have required special conditions in order to protect the cells from the external environment; this has limited the potential application of the technology.
In trials, the stem cells continued to function for up to three days when held within the gel matrix, at ambient temperature. The gel was able to keep the environment moist, which was regarded as key to extending the longevity of the cells. These conditions helped to maintain cell viability. The gel also acted as a matrix, which prevented the cells from expanding or undergoing a destructive process call lysis.
The research is published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine. The research paper is titled “Alginate-Encapsulation for the Improved Hypothermic Preservation of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells.”
More about wound treatment, Wounds, Seaweed, bandages, Infection
More news from
Latest News
Top News