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Silk technology could help heal skin wounds

"The Medical Marvels of Silk": we explore how this incredible material is being used within medical research

Why is silk such an amazing material?

Every property of silk - from its beauty benefits to its incredible strength - relies on the proteins that make it. These are arranged in such a way to allow strength, elasticity and "biocompatibility". The last of these properties is key in the use of silk within medicine, as it means that this product is unlikely to be rejected by our bodies. This makes it perfect for use in all medical research.

How can it help heal wounds?

Although our bodies are incredible at healing, this can be affected by old age or conditions such as diabetes. People who suffer from this are more prone to infection and at a higher risk for amputation. Scientists have been studying 'how' we heal ourselves for decades, and it all begins with the formation of blood vessels. Once these have re-grown, they bring nutrients and oxygen with them so that the nearby cells have the energy needed to re-grow. The ability of the cells to move is key, and so much testing has been completed into allowing this movement. 

What next?

The research completed at Tuft's University will now be used to generate "wound healing solutions" which can be applied directly to the wound to promote the healing and regrowth of cells. If this is successful, it could rescue millions of people worldwide from the painful and harmful effects of chronic skin wounds.