Skin gel allows wounds to heal without leaving a scar

November 8, 2018  17:12

A team of researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology has developed a silk protein-based gel that they claim allows for skin healing without scarring. In their paper published in the journal Biomaterials Science, the group describes their gel and how well it works.

Scarring due to a skin injury is not just unsightly—for many, it can also be a painful reminder of a wound. For these reasons, scientists have sought a way to heal wounds without scarring. In this new effort, the team in China claims to have found such a solution—a sericin hydrogel.

The gel used by the researchers was based on a silk protein—the researchers extracted sericin from silk fibers and then used a UV light and a photoinitiator to cross-link the protein chains. The result was a gel that adhered well to cells and did not trigger much of an immune response. The researchers note that it also has adjustable mechanical properties. They explain that the gel allows for scar-free healing by inhibiting inflammation and by promoting the development of new blood vessels. It was also found to regulate TGF-β growth factors, which resulted in stem cells being routed to the injury site allowing new skin to develop, rather than scar tissue.

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