Biotech researchers in India have developed a new burn injury treatment using an organic polymer extracted from wood.
TopExaminer reports that scientists with the University of North Bengal’s Department of Biotechnology are extracting lignin from wood sources to create a burn injury ointment that can ward off infection on burns for longer periods of time, thereby promoting faster healing.
The gel is comprised of 15 to 30 percent lignin, a substance found in vascular plants that is essential to the formation of cell walls and overall plant structure.
Burn injuries are highly susceptible to infection from airborne pathogens that accumulate on a burn injury over time. The risk of serious infection grows with the severity of the burn injury, and the only way to effectively mitigate the chance of an infection developing is to routinely clean and dress the wound – an intensely painful procedure that burn injury patients must endure daily.
The University of Northern India’s lignin treatment not only staves off infection, it acts as a dressing material for the burn injury. This unique dressing does not need to be repeatedly changed, TopExaminer reports. The one-time application releases the active ingredient on the wound, protecting it with its antimicrobial properties.
Researchers found that the biocompatible gel was found to be “effective for speedy recovery of burn injuries in laboratory when tested on rats suffering skin burns,” TopExaminer reported.
In Brazil, researchers are treating burn injuries on human patients with sterilized tilapia skin, which can be used as a “second skin” bandage on patients. Tilapia skin is also rich in silver, which also has anti-microbial properties that can effectively shield a burn injury from infection longer than traditional therapies.