A healing hydrogel inspired by biofilms can be applied inside the body to help heal internal wounds.
The damp interior of the body makes it difficult to use conventional wound healing materials, since they will not adhere and tend to slip away. However, the hydrogel from researchers at Harvard overcomes this obstacle.
The hydrogel contains a non-toxic strain of E. coli, which produces CsgA curli proteins. These proteins will attach to the human trefoil factor proteins in the mucus-creating intestinal cells—keeping the hydrogel firmly in place over the wound. Once the hydrogel bandage is perfected, it could be applied to a wound during surgery or even packed into a capsule and swallowed.