Skin Rashes and Other Conditions

5 Advances in Wound Healing

Allison Tsai Jan 15th, 2013 (updated Jun 9th, 2015)
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Since the skin is the largest organ in our body, it makes sense that researchers are working to find better ways to protect and heal it. Here are some of the recent advances in wound healing and skin protection.

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Wound superglue from mussels
Wound superglue from mussels

Researchers have found a way to create new bioadhesives for wound closures based on the chemistry that lets mussels stick to underwater surfaces.  These new products, called iCMBAs, work well in wet environments, unlike current tissue sealants. Researchers say this “superglue” could be used for sutures, staple replacements, and tissue grafts to treat hernias, ulcers and burns.

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Sweat glands heal wounds
Sweat glands heal wounds

Recent research has found that sweat glands play an important role in wound healing. Sweat glands, may store adult stem cells that can quickly be used to aid in healing the skin. Researchers say identifying the process of wound closure can help target therapies towards sweat glands.

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Plastic skin that can self-heal
Plastic skin that can self-heal

A new recipe for synthetic skin has proven to heal itself when torn or cut and sense subtle pressure. This new material contains the self-healing ability of a plastic polymer and the conductivity of a metal. Researchers say the next step is to make the material stretchy and transparent, which could be used for electrical devices and wires. 

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Spider glue for wound healing
Spider glue for wound healing

Researchers from the University of Akron are looking at the common house spider to develop adhesive sutures strong enough to heal fractures, but light enough use on a bandage. The house spider tailors the glue used for its web based on the prey. It is both firm and weak, which researchers want to model a new synthetic adhesive after.

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Makeup that protects for bomb blasts
Makeup that protects for bomb blasts

A new face makeup for soldiers can act as both camouflage to hide from enemies and as a shield against the heat of bomb blasts. This heat-resistant makeup may also be an option for firefighters. The makeup is able to protect the face and hands for up to 60 seconds, which can protect from the thermal blast from explosives.