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Kamchatka Crabs Help Heal Burns


Recoverying from third and fourth degree burns, the most damaging types, is a slow and painful process that inevitably leaves excessive scar tissue. Russian researchers have developed a pharmacological enzyme preparation to accelerate the debridement process and wound healing, which reduces the preparation time for grafting and diminishes scarring.

Their product, called ENZYCOL, is a mixture of collagenases from the Kamchatka crab that rapidly dissolves the dense collagen matrix of necrotic skin forming after a burn. By removing this non-living tissue, ENZYCOL promotes the healing of the surrounding healthy tissue, a vital process for preventing the onset of infection. The debridement period for burns pre-treated with the crab collagenase mixture is 2 days shorter than with traditional enzyme therapies such as trypsin.

The research team consisted of scientists from the Russian Cardiology Research Center in Moscow and the Research Center of Toxicology and Hygienic Regulation of Biopreparations in Serpukhov (Moscow Region). Seventy-one scientists and technical staff, of which forty represented former biological and chemical weapons experts, participated in two ISTC projects to develop this technology. They began their work in 1999 to develop the powder preparation and confirm its safety and effectiveness in vitro. In the follow-up project, which began in 2002 and is currently going on, the scientists modified the method for preparing ENZYCOL to make it suitable for pilot scale production. They also performed pre-clinical trials on laboratory animals, which proved that the enzyme cocktail is non-toxic, non-mutagenic, and non-irritating on skin.

* The ISTC is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the nonproliferation of weapons technology of mass destruction. The Center coordinates the efforts of numerous governments, international organizations, and private sector industries to provide weapons scientists from Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries with opportunities to redirect their talents to peaceful science.

For more information, please contact:

Diana Pobedimskaya
ISTC Senior Project Manager

Alexander Ivanchenko | alfa
Further information:

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