Switch on the Light for Healing

Switch on the Light for Healing

Author: Lisa-Marie Rauschendorfer

In wound healing, re-epithalization is the first and critical step: surface epidermis cells and the connective tissue build a protective layer and the basis for further healing steps. In order to support the re-epithalization, tissue engineering scaffolds can be used. These scaffolds have to exhibit certain biological features, such as support of cell adhesion and proliferation, and possess suitable mechanical and degradation properties. The material should support natural movements and be long-lasting, as wound healing can take up to eight weeks.

Ali Khademhosseini, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, and colleagues used the photocrosslinkable methacrylamide gelatin (GelMA) as a scaffold to support the re-epithalization in wound healing. The crosslinking of GelMA can be triggered by the addition of a photoinitiator (PI), exposing the GelMA-PI-hydrogel mixture to light then initiates the crosslinking reaction. By varying the methacrylamid modification degree of gelatin or the photopolymerization time, the crosslinking extent can be easily varied and the mechanical properties of GelMA can be precisely tuned. This allows the application of GelMA at different body sites and for various wound types.


 

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