A low cost, nanometer-sized drug to treat chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers or burns, has been developed by a group of scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard Medical School and others in the U.S. and Japan.
Diabetes is a rapidly growing medical problem affecting close to 3 percent of the world’s population. Poor blood circulation arising from diabetes often results in skin wounds which do not heal, causing pain, infection and at times amputation of limbs.
Several proteins, called growth factors, have been found to speed up the healing process, however purifying these growth factor proteins is very expensive, and they do not last long on the injured site.
Now, scientists at the Hebrew University and Harvard involved in the project have used genetic engineering to produce a “robotic” growth factor protein that responds to temperature. Increasing the temperature causes dozens of these proteins to fold together into a nanoparticle that is more than 200 times smaller than a single hair.
This behavior greatly simplifies protein purification, making it very inexpensive to produce. It also enables the growth factor to be confined and to remain at the burn or wound site. The scientists refer to their discovery as robotic, since just as robots are machines that respond to their environment by carrying out a specific activity, so too this protein they have developed responds and reacts to heat.
The experimental drug, which ha been developed by the research group as a topical ointment, has been patented and thus far has been used to treat chronic wounds in diabetic mice, dramatically increasing the healing rate. The goal is to proceed to human clinical trials at some future date after future tests and refinements.
An article on the project has been published online in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US). The authors are Dr. Yaakov Nahmias, director of the Center for Bioengineering in the Service of Humanity at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Dr. Zaki Megeed, Prof. Robert Sheridan and Prof. Martin L. Yarmush of the Harvard Medical School and Shriners Hospitals for Children; Prof. Piyush Koria of the University of South Florida; and Dr. Hiroshi Yagi and Dr. Yuko Kitagawa of the Keio University School of Medicine in Japan.
For further information: Jerry Barach, Dept. of Media Relations, the Hebrew University, Tel: 02-588-2904.
Orit Sulitzeanu, Hebrew University spokesperson, Tel: 054-8820016.
Jerry Barach | Hebrew University
Brought to light – chromobodies reveal changes in endogenous protein concentration in living cells
21.09.2018 | NMI Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut an der Universität Tübingen
A one-way street for salt
21.09.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
24.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
24.09.2018 | Information Technology
21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy