Chicago researchers develop new bandage that accelerates healing
Scientists at Northwestern University have developed a revolutionary new bandage.
They say it can dramatically accelerate the healing time for wounds and they're hoping one day it'll be a must-have item for medicine cabinets across the country.
A small lab at Northwestern University in Evanston has created a regenerative bandage that can teach the body to heal its own wounds without any drugs.
Guillermo Ameer and his staff of biomedical engineers originally developed the bandage to address non-healing diabetic foot ulcers -- a problem that affects one in 7 diabetics. The bandage starts as a liquid, but when exposed to body temperature, it quickly solidifies into a gel. You can see it change right before your eyes.
The secret ingredient is a protein found in body tissue called Laminin. It encourages cells to gravitate and stick to one another and grow or regenerate. It also works as an antioxidant -- reducing inflammation, warding off cell damage and conforms to any wound shape as they demonstrated for us on this pork roast.
Jaqueline Burke has diabetes. Helping other diabetics has become her passion. She's a PHD student at Northwestern, working in Ameer's lab.
"The solution could help heal wounds of all people. Wounds are very common and the quicker you can heal the better,” she said.
Another benefit is that replacing the bandage is as easy as rinsing it off with a saline spray.
Northwestern scientists are hoping this liquid bandage could be available in a few years and change the way we all deal with scrapes and cuts that are part of our everyday life.
The bandage faces more clinical testing and still needs FDA approval before it can hit the market.