Indian scientists develop wound healing ointment by modifying naturally occurring wood

New Delhi: A group of Indian researchers have modified lignin which is present in naturally occurring wood to develop a quick wound healing ointment.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

They have modified lignin by adding certain chemical substances to produce a lignin-derived copolymer. This copolymer, when combined with water - based gel, showed drug loading capability and better elasticity, in addition to prevention of wound-related infections. All this is essential for quick wound healing.

The new formulation worked well in laboratory animals with skin burns which are additionally prone to infections.

It has also been found that the new formulation has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and can be used in treatment and prevention of skin inflammation, which is essentially the redness and swelling around the site of injury often accompanied by hot burning sensation.

The lignin-based formulation when applied at the site of injury in combination with a drug (like antibiotics) produced better results compared to the local application of antibiotics alone. The effectiveness was measured through the level of an indicator protein called CRP, which goes up manifolds in the blood when the body encounters injury or infection.

This, researchers say, shows that the new formulation, when combined with an appropriate drug, can offer better protection and relief to skin injuries and faster recovery time. The researchers claim that it is for these reasons that repeated change of dressing and re-application of the formulation at the site of injury is also not required.

The study has been done jointly by scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, University of North Bengal, Siliguri and Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago. The study results have been published in the journal, Scientific Reports.

The research group has studied the mechanisms that are triggered or suppressed by the lignin-based formulation within the cells to cause its enhanced therapeutic effect. This insight can help develop next generation ointments for skin burns.

Updated Date: May 02, 2017 19:24 PM

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