Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Vegetarian wound dressing?

Exploring the biotechnological benefits of naturally occurring materials is expected to yield multiple benefits for the medical community on a global scale. A UK-based research centre is already seeing results from its efforts.
Vegetarian wound dressing?
The John Innes Centre in UK is researching into novel wound dressing applications (films) based on legume-based starches as starting materials. Contrary to most synthetic polymers used to make wound dressings, starch-based polymers are hydrophilic and not hydrophobic. In other words they are stable in water.

The hydrophilic nature of these new films gives them excellent fluid-absorbing capacities and allows them to be used as carriers of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compounds. The fact that these new films are essentially plant-based, stands as a testament to their non-allergenic properties. Combined with antimicrobial compounds they have the potential to inhibit wound infections.

The main competitive advantage of these new starch-based films is their hydrophilic nature, a revolutionary concept in wound dressing materials. This characteristic allows them to better absorb liquids while maintaining their structural integrity, which improves their overall strength, flexibility and elasticity.

The UK researchers are now seeking to outlicense their invention to a pharmaceutical/healthcare company capable of exploiting its commercial potential. A series of laboratory prototypes have been produced and patent coverage is being sought.
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