Treat Wounds with Silk to Prevent Scarring

New research shows that treating wounds with the silk protein sericin promotes healing without the generation of scar tissue.

Silk Gel on a Wound / Image: Lin Wang
Silk Gel on a Wound / Image: Lin Wang

When a serious wound is incurred, the biggest obstacle to healing is the generation of scar tissue, which has different properties than normal skin that cause discomfort and can be unsightly. A recent Chemistry World article discussed an innovative new wound dressing that results in scarless healing.

Lin Wang and his team at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China extracted sericin from silk and crosslinked the protein chains using UV light. The result is a gel with strong cell-adhesive properties, low immunogenicity, and adjustable mechanical properties.

The strategy prevents scar tissue from forming by inhibiting inflammation, promoting new blood vessel growth, regulating TGF-β growth factors, and attracting stem cells to the wound site.

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