New Peptide Unveiled to Aid in Diabetic Wound Care
A new hydrogel is leading to more efficient diabetic wound care and healing.
Diabetic wound care has always been especially complicated. For one, these patients routinely experience slow wound healing. In fact, a report in Healthy Cells magazine from July 2015 noted that diabetic patients are 15% more likely to develop these chronic wounds. As a result of all this, diabetic patients require a special level of wound care, one that emphasizes elements like proper hygiene and watching out for lower limb ulcers. But now these wound healing regimens could soon have a handy new tool to give diabetic patients a more effective form of treatment.
In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of chemists and bioengineers from the University of Toronto unveiled a new hydrogel that can improve wound healing rates among diabetics. Anyone with basic knowledge of the industry is aware that hydrogels are an essential component of effective wound care: Not only are these solutions easy to use, but they can work on several wound types and lower the overall rate of infection.
The Toronto team’s hydrogel is special in that it features a peptide called QHREDGS. According to 2 Minute Medicine, the peptide has been used extensively in aiding cardiac cells following injury, ensuring the survival of these cells in a number of different laboratory settings. Meanwhile, a 2013 study in the journal PLoS One found that QHREDGS is the perfect addition to solutions like hydrogels, ensuring both cellular survival and proliferation.
The Toronto team studied the impact of QHREDGS on diabetic human epidermal keratinocytes, which were inside of several films placed on to laboratory mice. Not only did the peptide help heal most wounds is just about two weeks, the same group had fewer open wounds than the control group. Plus, the peptide increased regrowth of blood vessels, which is often a problem among chronic wounds of diabetic patients.
The Toronto collective noted that part of the peptide’s success is how it impacted the Akt/MAPK pathway, which is a series of proteins. By increasing the movement of certain cells, both in terms of speed and sheer numbers, wounds were able to close quickly and more efficiently.
While there’s no word yet of when the peptide might be commercially available, it could represent a huge step forward for effective diabetic wound care.
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