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New vitamin C-rich bandage to boost burn healing

IANS May 06, 2024

Italian researchers have developed a novel bandage developed from biodegradable material and loaded with vitamin C to help boost the healing process of burn wounds.

The bandage developed by the team from the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) consists of zein -- a protein obtained from maize; pectin -- a sugar found in the peel of many fruits, like apple; and soy lecithin -- a substance sourced from the like-named plant.

The body's natural defence mechanism leads to inflammation after a burn, making the affected area red and swollen. However, inflammation when excessive can counterproductively trigger the generation of oxygen free radicals, and impede the healing process.

The new bandage, detailed in the journal ACS Applied Bio Materials, was found capable of preventing an increase in the level of inflammation and cutting down the number of free radicals, thus reducing the time needed for healing.

"This is just one of the possible applications for this category of smart materials," said Athanassia Athanassiou, Principal Investigator of IIT's Smart Materials Unit.

"We are working on other devices capable of speeding up healing, not only of burns but also various other types of wounds such as lacerations or skin ulcers, pathologies," Athanassiou added.

Importantly, the bandage naturally degrades within a few days, providing an environmentally sustainable alternative to skin patches, the team said.

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