Tested on the surface of a chicken embryo, a stamp removed after one week revealed a new blood vessel network mirroring the pattern of the channels in the stamp.
Brilliant New Bandage Treatment
In another marvellous medical breakthrough, scientists have come up with a bandage which stimulates and directs – on the surface of a wound – blood vessel growth via what is known as a micro-vascular stamp. This means living cells within the bandage deliver, in a defined pattern, growth factors to damaged tissues, helping them to repair themselves much more quickly
As it turns out, apparently any form of tissue, be it bone, muscle or skin is highly vascularised, one of the biggest challenges being the recreation of vascular networks through correct control of both growth and spacing of new blood vessels as they develop, something the new technique allows for
Where in previous such attempts, other researchers embedded growth factors into the materials applied to wounds, trying to direct blood vessel growth, this new technique incorporates live cells in a stamp, releasing growth factors in a more sustained and targeted manner.
Almost 1 cm wide, constructed of layers of a hydro-gel made of polyethylene glycol, the stamp is porous, so that small molecules can leak through, with various sized channels to direct the flow of larger molecule growth factors. Tested on the surface of a chicken embryo, a stamp removed after one week revealed a new blood vessel network mirroring the pattern of the channels in the stamp.
Many potential applications for this new stamp are possible, such as directing blood vessels growth around blocked arteries or increasing poor blood flow. Encouraging growth of coordinated patterns of new blood vessels after surgery may reduce recovery time and lessen scar tissue.
Whilst this technology is still in the infancy stages, the prospects for a much improved and speedier recovery time from any kind of trauma have most definitely been brought a significant step closer with this ground-breaking work.