Cuts, scrapes, blisters, burns, splinters, and punctures there are a number of ways broken skin happens. Most treatments for skin wounds involve simply placing a barrier over them (usually an adhesive gauze bandage). This keeps it moist, limit pain, and reduces exposure to infectious microbes. A new, scalable approach to speeding up wound healing, developed based on heat-responsive hydrogels. Mechanically active, stretchy, tough, highly adhesive, and antimicrobial, active adhesive dressings (AADs). To close wounds significantly faster than other methods and prevent bacterial growth without additional apparatus or stimuli. https://glewengineering.com/engineers-add-new-updates-to-medical-advances-2019/

This technology has the potential use not only for skin injuries, but also for chronic wounds like diabetic ulcers and pressure sores, for drug delivery. As well as omponents of soft robotics-based therapies.

DEVELOPING EMBRYOS : Inspired Development

AADs take their inspiration from developing embryos, whose skin is able to heal itself completely, without forming scar tissue. To achieve this, the embryonic skin cells around a wound produce fibers made of the protein actin. This contract s, to draw the wound edges together, like a drawstring bag being pulled closed. Skin cells lose this ability once a fetus develops past a certain age. Any injuries that occur after that point cause inflammation and scarring during the healing process.

In order to mimic the contractile forces that pull embryonic skin wounds closed, the researchers extended the design of previously developed tough adhesive hydrogels. By adding a thermoresponsive polymer known as PNIPAm, which both repels water and shrinks at around 90 °F. The resulting hybrid hydrogel begins to contract when exposed to body temperature . Transmits the force of the contracting PNIPAm component to the underlying tissue via strong bonds between the alginate hydrogel and the tissue. In addition, silver nanoparticles are embedded in the AAD to provide antimicrobial protection.

CLOSING WOUNDS FASTER

To test how well their AAD closed wounds, the researchers tested it on patches of mouse skin. Found that it reduced the size of the wound area by about 45 percent compared to almost no change in area in the untreated samples. Closed wounds faster than other treatments including microgels, chitosan, gelatin, and other types of hydrogels. The AAD did not cause inflammation or immune responses.

Furthermore, the researchers are able to adjust the amount of wound closure performed by the AAD . By adding various amounts of acrylamide monomers during the manufacturing process. This property is useful when applying the adhesive to wounds on a joint like the elbow, which moves around a lot and would probably benefit from a looser bond. Compared to a more static area of the body like the shin. https://glewengineering.com/fea-of-elastomeric-materials-for-medical-device-development/

Hydrogel Adhesive: Assisted Wound Closure

The team also created a computer simulation of AAD-assisted wound closure. Which predicted that AAD may cause human skin to contract at a rate comparable to that of mouse skin. Indicating that it has a higher likelihood of displaying a clinical benefit in human patients. Continuing this research with studies to learn more about how the mechanical cues exerted by AAD impact the biological process of wound healing. Learning how AAD performs across a range of different temperatures, as body temperature varies at different location. Hoping to pursue additional preclinical studies to demonstrate AAD’s potential as a medical product, and then work toward commercialization. https://glewengineering.com/wearable-brain-interface-controls-wheelchairs/

This is another wonderful example of a mechanotherapy in which new insights into the key role that physical forces play in biological control is harnessed. Developing a new and simpler therapeutic approach that are even more effective than drugs or complex medical devices.

Research: Hydrogel Adhesive

This research is supported by the National Institutes of Health. The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. The National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Harvard University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. https://nusil.com/siliconeadhesives?creative=289671042156&keyword=medical%20adhesive&matchtype=p&network=g&device=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2vezvcqz6AIVGYvICh2ypgPzEAAYAiAAEgJlQvD_BwE