Engineered 'Glue' Helps Wounds Heal Faster
In the movies, superheroes' and vampires' wounds heal so quickly that life-threatening cuts and gashes close up in minutes. These super healing abilities may be out of reach, but researchers in Switzerland have now engineered a substance called a growth factor that makes cuts and broken bones heal more quickly, by remaining near the damaged tissue longer than it would naturally.
This engineered growth factor could benefit people with chronic wounds, including those with diabetesor compromised immune systems, according to the researchers, whose work is detailed in the Feb. 21 issue of the journal Science.
Growth factors are proteins that animals produce naturally; they are at work in processes ranging from fetal development to the healing of cuts and broken bones. When an injury happens, growth factors signal certain types of cells to come to the injury site, and help heal the wound. Skin cells, for example, release growth factors after a cut occurs to stimulate cell growth and the reformation of blood vessels.