Students at IIT Madras have developed an inexpensive wound dressing material that accelerates healing of wounds in both healthy persons and diabetics.
The latest innovation that uses graphene-based materials would be of great help to diabetic patients whose wounds do not heal as rapidly as in a normal and healthy individual. The delayed healing or non healed wounds could lead to serious complications which at times make amputations necessary.
A normal wound wrapped with the common dressing material generally takes 23 days to heal but with the new dressing it took only 16 days. In people with diabetes, which affects 70 million Indians and growing, wounds treated with the dressings healed in 20 days as against 26 days in untreated diabetic wounds, PTI reported.
The dressing is inexpensive as well.
“Currently, the materials available for faster wound healing are very costly, costing up to $2,000 for a 4 to 5 sq-in patch. We are hoping to cut down the cost 50-60 fold, to around ₹1,000,” Vignesh Muthuvijayan, Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, told Hindustan Times
The researchers said, the new dressing material is a thin sheet of graphite that has been reduced using intense sunlight. They wanted to exploit the property of graphene-based materials of improving blood vessel formation at certain concentrations to prepare an inexpensive wound dressing.
“We hope this is the first step towards developing inexpensive wound dressings using graphene-based materials for clinical use,” Muthuvijayan told PTI.
Explaining the procedure behind this finding, he said the researchers used a convex lens to focus sunlight on graphene oxide to obtain reduced graphene oxide.
“Thereafter, they loaded these reduced graphene oxide dispersions into a plant carbohydrate polymer (psyllium) solution to obtain wound dressing scaffolds,” he added.
They further used fibroblast cells which are responsible for wound healing to evaluate the toxicity and bio-activity of these scaffolds on cell attachment.