July 14, 2024

New Magnetic Gel Triples Wound Healing Speed

A new magnetic gel developed by scientists at the National University of Singapore has shown promising results in speeding up the healing process of chronic skin ulcers, such as diabetic foot ulcers. The gel reportedly triples the speed at which wounds heal by exercising skin cells.

Patients with diabetic foot ulcers are often advised to not put any weight on the injury, as it can inhibit the healing process by killing fragile new skin cells. However, mechanical stimulation of the skin can actually promote the growth of new skin cells and aid in wound healing.

To address this paradox, the researchers created a special hydrogel that contains tiny magnetic particles along with two types of FDA-approved skin cells: keratinocytes, which are crucial for skin repair, and fibroblasts, which form connective tissue in the skin. When applied to the wound site on a bandage, the gel responds to a dynamic magnetic field generated by an external device, causing the magnetic particles to move the cells gently.

In a study conducted on mice, the gel treatment accelerated the growth rate of dermal fibroblasts by approximately 240% and doubled their rate of collagen production. Additionally, it enhanced communication between keratinocytes and other cells, which promoted the growth of new blood vessels at the wound site.

Dr. Shou Yufeng, co-first author of the research paper published in Advanced Materials, stated that the magneto-responsive hydrogel, combined with wireless magneto-induced dynamic mechanical stimulation, addresses fundamental challenges in wound healing. The versatility and ease of use of this technology make it applicable to a variety of situations beyond diabetes, including burns and chronic non-diabetic ulcers.

The study involved collaboration between scientists from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Sun Yat-sen University, Wuhan University of Technology, and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

The potential of this magnetic gel to significantly accelerate wound healing offers hope for patients with chronic skin ulcers, particularly diabetics who are prone to slower healing rates. With further development and clinical trials, this innovative gel could become a valuable tool in improving wound healing outcomes and preventing serious complications.

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  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it