A new cross-linked hydrogel could be used to create bandages that attract stem cells to speed wound healing.
The injectable hydrogel developed by a team from Rice University incorporates bioactive molecules anchored to the chemical crosslinks. The crosslinks help the gel keep its structure even when swollen with water, filling the wound and attracting stem cells to the site to promote speed healing. And, perhaps most significantly, the gel can be mixed at room temperature, preventing heat damage to the biomolecules.
According to team co-lead Jason Guo, “With our previous hydrogels, we typically needed to have a secondary system to deliver the biomolecules to effectively produce tissue repair. In this case, our big advantage is that we directly incorporate those biomolecules for the specific tissue right into the crosslinker itself. Then once we inject the hydrogel, the biomolecules are right where they need to be.”
Image by Jeff Fitlow - Rice graduate student Jason Guo fills a mold with bioactive hydrogel. Injectable hydrogels can be enhanced with biomolecules and mixed at room temperature to help heal a variety of wounds.
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