Recently, according to foreign media reports, Dr. Ben Almquist of the Imperial College of London and his team created a new molecular material that can work with the body's natural healing system to promote wound healing.
This new material is called the traction-activated payload (abbreviated as TrAPs). Researchers say adding TrAPs to existing medical materials could revolutionize traditional wound treatments. Dr. Almquist from the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London said: "Our technology can help develop a new generation of materials that actively promote wound healing with body repair tissue."
In the traditional treatment, after the person is injured, the repairing cells "crawl" to find the collagen scaffold in the wound, and then when they carry the collagen scaffold to move, activate the hidden healing protein and start repairing the injured tissue.
Now, researchers have designed TrAPs to change this traditional treatment. They fold the DNA fragment into a three-dimensional shape called an aptamer, and the aptamer is tightly attached to the protein. They then attach a customizable "handle" that the cell can grasp at one end and then connect to the collagen support at the other end.
During laboratory testing of their technology, the researchers found that cells pulled TrAPs with a collagen scaffold. Tensile forces allow TrAPs to be disassembled like laces to activate healing proteins that direct healing cells to grow and multiply.
The researchers also found that by changing the "handles" of cells, they can decide which type of cells can be captured, and then TrAPs release specific therapeutic proteins at specific time points based on specific cells. In this way, TrAPs can be subtly interacted with the right type of cells at the right time to repair the wound.
This is the first time scientists have used different types of cells to activate healing proteins in man-made materials. This technique mimics the healing methods found in nature. Dr. Almquist said: "Using cell movement to activate healing cells is found in multicellular organisms such as sponges. Our methods mimic them and actively work with different kinds of cells that reach us over time. Damaged tissue to promote healing."
The method is applicable to different cell types and can be used for various injuries such as fractures, scar tissue after heart attack and damaged nerves. New technologies are also urgently needed for patients, such as patients with diabetic foot ulcers, which increase the risk of amputation.
The creation of TrAPs is relatively simple and completely artificial, which means they are easily recreated in different laboratories and can be expanded to industrial production. Their adaptability also means they can help scientists create new ways of laboratory research for disease, stem cell and tissue development.
Aptamers are currently used as drugs, which means they have proven to be safe and suitable for clinical use. Since TrAPs utilize aptamers that are currently optimized for humans, they may treat disease faster than a zero-based approach.
Dr. Almquist said: “TrAPs technology provides a flexible way to create materials that actively communicate with wounds and provide critical indications at the time and place needed. This intelligent, dynamic healing technique is in the healing process. Every stage is useful, which may increase the chances of recovery and has a wide range of uses on many different types of wounds. This technology has the potential to be a conductor of wound repair, and over time, TrAPs make it different The cells work together to heal the damaged tissue."
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