Nanoparticles heal wounds twice as fast
Scientists from Yeshiva University in Bronx, New York, believe that nanoparticle technology could help heal a wide range of wounds quickly. They say the treatment can be used to help heal anything from minor cuts, burns, surgical incisions and even skin ulcers.
The idea for the study came after the scientists discovered that an enzyme, FL2, slows down the skin cells when they are traveling to heal a wound. For this study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the team wanted to see if reducing the amount of FL2 would also reduce healing time.
Researchers developed a nanoparticle capsule containing a drug that inhibited the production of FL2, and applied them onto wounds in mice. As hoped, healing time in mice was reduced, so scientists decided to continue the tests on human cells. Using a culture of human cells, the team found that blocking FL2 causes the cells to move extremely fast compared to normal healing time.
Why are nanoparticles so important? Another member of the team found that genetic siRNA material was the key to blocking production of FL2, in order to speed up healing. However, siRNAs are quickly attacked or broken down in the body if they aren’t protected in some sort of casing. Nanoparticles play a critical role in housing the sensitive genetic material as it’s delivered to the wound. When using a nanoparticle casing for wound therapy, healing time was cut in half compared to those mice who did not receive treatment. This worked successfully on both cuts and burns.
For their next study, the team plans to test nanoparticle treatment on pigs, whose skin is much more similar to human skin.