Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB) have developed an affordable bilayered bandage that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to prevent infections in wounds, Research Matters reported. The top layer consists of chitosan (a type of sugar found in the outer skeleton of a shellfish) and polycaprolactone (a biodegradable polyester). The bottom layer is built of soluble eggshell membrane protein and polyvinyl alcohol (a water-soluble synthetic polymer) in combination with curcumin nanoparticles (an anti-inflammatory compound found in plants of the turmeric family).
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The Problem With Wound Healing And Its Solution
Currently, there are 3000 types of wound healing dressings available for numerous types of wounds. However, wounds such as pressure and venous ulcers, diabetic wounds, and burn wounds are difficult to treat with these dressings. In the case of acute and chronic wounds, the skin doesn’t repair due to the poor anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of these dressings. These properties are required to prevent infection from spreading in the body and boost the healing process.
Conventional dressings don’t have these properties, but the dermal patch or bandage proposed by the researchers does. The materials that were used to make the dressing are FDA (Food and Drug Administration, United States) approved, which ensures its safety. The top layer has chitosan and polycaprolactone. Chitosan is a sugar polymer and is antibacterial and biodegradable, while Polycaprolactone has biodegradable, biocompatible and water-repelling properties and is used in tissue engineering. The combination of the two polymers provides moisture-repelling properties to the bandage and maintains the fluid balance outside the wound. Further, it creates a microbial obstruction for faster wound healing.
The bottom layer is composed of polyvinyl alcohol which acts as an absorbent for wound discharge and has wound-healing components. It holds moisture around the wound. Further, the researchers added a bioactive component extracted from turmeric called curcumin to the bandage. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. They transformed curcumin into nanoparticles so they could enter the wound site and prevent infection. They also used an eggshell membrane, a layer between the shell and egg white which has numerous structural proteins that can boost wound healing.
“To our knowledge, there are no such wound dressings available that are polymer-based, dual-layered, topical in application with multifunctional properties, namely, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, leading to better wound healing properties. This invention is innovative, and we have filed a patent on it,” said Dr Prakriti Tayalia, lead author of the study and professor at IITB.
Bandage Safety And Effectiveness
The researchers checked the wound healing properties and safety of the bandage through multiple lab testings. They tested the dermal patches on rat models and found better wound healing compared to conventional dressings. Their next step is to test them on diabetic and other chronic wounds. The production of the dermal patches is scalable as the materials are easily available in the market. They can be manufactured in any size and thickness depending upon the type of wound.
“This patch will undoubtedly be beneficial to people suffering from both chronic and acute wounds, and we want to commercialize this product,” said Prof. Tayalia.
The research has been published in the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine.
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