UE Researchers Create Fabric Dressing that Could Improve Wound Recovery

04 Jul UE Researchers Create Fabric Dressing that Could Improve Wound Recovery

Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey’s medical staff stays current on the latest research on wound care recovery.  Here’s one study published last month that caught our interest.

Research engineers at the University of Edinburgh (EU) have devised a fabric dressing whose thickness and elasticity can be custom-matched to specific areas of the body, being able to be absorbed by the skin’s own tissue as it heals, says a recent article published in the June 27 issue of Medical Engineering & Physics.

Artificial skin produced using nanoscale technology Photo Credit: Antonios Keirouz)

The researchers say that the two synthetic materials are blended to produce nanometre-sized fibres—thousands of times thinner than a hair—which can be fabricated in minutes.  The custom fabric was recently developed by a method, known as nozzle-free electrospinning. Their device consists of a rotating cylinder above a pool of solution containing the two components of fabrics.

As the cylinder in the device spins under high voltage and temperature, tiny fibres are quickly produced from the liquid and spun onto an adjacent hot surface. The fabric is formed as the fibres cool during the process.

As to wound dressings, the component mixture can be altered to create dressings of varied thicknesses and elasticity. The process uses a recently discovered material, known as polyglycerol sebacate, which is stretchy and compatible with human tissue.

According to the researchers, test skin cells showed that the material’s small-scale fibres provide a scaffold on which newly formed skin can grow.

Creating New Dressings for Wound Care Recovery

The UE researchers say they will now concentrate their efforts on developing and testing the material for medical use to improve wound recovery for patients suffering from burns or skin grafts, The research team expects this will take about four years.

“Our technique is a cost-effective way of making artificial skin adapted for all areas of body, to accelerate the wound healing process,” says Dr. Norbert Radacsi, at EU’s School of Engineering, Institute of Materials and Processes, in a statement announcing the findings of this research study.

Adds, EU Colleague Antonios Keirouz, “Dressings made from this new fabric would be absorbed by the body, reducing the need for frequent changes.”

For more details, contact Dr. Norbert Radacsi at  n.radacsi@ed.ac.uk.