A compound found in sunless tanning spray may help to heal wounds following surgery, according to new results published by plastic surgeons from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City and biomedical engineers at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where the novel compound was developed.
Results published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that a sticky gel composed of polyethylene glycol and a polycarbonate of dihydroxyacetone (MPEG-pDHA) may help to seal wounds created by surgery.
Procedures to remove cancerous breast tissue, for example, often leave a hollow space that fills with seroma fluid that must typically be drained by a temporary implanted drain. "This is an unpleasant side effect of surgery that is often unavoidable," explains Dr. Jason Spector, co-author of the study and plastic surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
The gel could potentially be used in all different reconstructive surgeries to prevent seroma formation. "The new substance would act to glue together the hole left behind to prevent seroma buildup," says Dr. Spector.
DHA is a compound that sticks to compounds in biological tissues, called amines. The sticky properties of DHA are what allows sunless tanner to adhere to the skin without being wiped off. However, it is biodegradable and water soluble as well, which means that the compound does not stay tacked onto the body's tissues forever. Currently used "bio-glues" are made from animal products and take a long time to degrade in the body -- both factors that raise the risk of infection.
"DHA is a compound that is naturally produced in the body," explains Dr. David Putnam, the study's senior author and a biomedical engineer from Cornell University's Department of Biomedical Engineering and School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. "The glue is broken down, or metabolized, and then safely removed by the body."
Dr. Putnam's lab and his collaborators work to create safe, synthetic compounds from chemicals found in nature. DHA is an intermediary compound produced during the metabolism of glucose, a sugar used by the body for fuel.
To create the new compound, MPEG-pDHA, Dr. Putnam and his lab first bound the single molecule monomer of DHA, which is highly reactive, to a protecting group molecule, making it stable enough to manipulate. This allowed the engineers to bind the monomers together to form a polymer, or chain of molecules, along with MPEG. Doing so allows the polymer gel to be injected through a syringe.
"Making a polymer from DHA has eluded chemical engineers for about 20 years," says Dr. Putnam.
Now in gel form, the compound has the ability to stick tissues together, preventing the pocket from filling with seroma fluid, like an internal Band-Aid, explains Dr. Putnam. The researchers found that the gel prevented or significantly lowered seroma formation or fluid buildup in rats that had breast tissue removed.
"The next step would be to test the gel on larger animals and then in clinical trials in human surgical cases," says Dr. Spector.
Previous results, published by Drs. Putnam and Spector, in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, showed that the gel also prevented bleeding in a rat liver.
"This is another aspect of the compound that would be greatly beneficial if proven to be applicable in humans," says Dr. Spector. "The gel could speed the healing and decrease bleeding within the body."
This research was supported in part from a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a grant from the Morgan Tissue Engineering Fund, an Early Career Award from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, and the New York State Center for Advanced Technology.
Co-authors of the study include Dr. Peter Zawaneh from Cornell University, Dr. Sunil Singh and Dr. Peter Henderson from Weill Cornell, and Dr. Robert Padera from the Department of Pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer; the synthesis of penicillin; the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S.; the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease; the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth; and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree overseas and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar. For more information, visit www.nyp.org and www.med.cornell.edu.
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy