Antibodies to speed up recovery from burns, ulcers

January 29th, 2010 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 29 (IANS) New antibodies being developed by Australian researchers will speed up the healing of burns and chronic ulcers and benefit diabetes patients.
Research by Allison Cowin, associate professor at Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute, and the University of Adelaide’s surgery department found that a specific protein known as Flightless I (Flii) restricts wound healing.

Researchers have been able to use antibodies to suppress the Flii protein, thereby promoting wound healing.

“Improving wound healing has the potential to benefit a large proportion of the community, particularly the aged, the obese and patients with diabetes, all of whom are at increased risk of developing chronic, non-healing ulcers,” says Cowin.

“This new technology will also have applications for treating burn injuries and surgical wounds,” she says.

“When a wound heals faster, the body is better protected against blood loss and infection. But in its haste to heal, the body also creates scar tissue that can cause chronic pain, deformity and disability.

“The medical need for improved wound healing will only expand as our population ages and the diabetes epidemic grows,” Cowin said, according to an University of Adelaide release.

Cowin, however, said it could be as many as 10 years before such a treatment is available to the public.

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