Researchers have developed an injectable hydrogel to accelerate the wound-healing process, according to results published in Nature Materials.
Co-principal investigators Dino Di Carlo, PhD, a professor of bioengineering, and Tatiana Segura, PhD, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and colleagues at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) developed a hydrogel that creates an instant “scaffold” made of microporous annealed particles (MAP gel) that fill the wound, promoting swift tissue growth.
“Achieving a biomaterial that promotes rapid regeneration while maintaining structural support has been a holy grail in the field of tissue engineering,” Di Carlo said in a press release. “Our team has achieved this in an injectable form by combining tailored material chemistry and microfluidic fabrication of uniform spherical building blocks, each about the width of a human hair.
“Our technology is beautifully simple, as it utilizes any available chemistry to generate tiny gels that can be assembled into a large unit, leaving behind a path for cellular infiltration,” Segura added.
The researchers expect to see the MAP gel used for a wide range of wounds, from lacerations and surgical wound closures to diabetic ulcers and large-area burn wounds, according to the release.
Di Carlo D, et al. Nat Mater. 2015; doi:10.1038/nmat4294.
Disclosures: The researchers report the study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.