Genetically engineered human collagen has been used for a wound dressing that speeds and improves healing.
Researchers at the Hebrew University Faculty of Dental Medicine in Jerusalem, Israel say the dressing is the result of many years of experimentation with collagen.
Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein and is the major constituent of connective tissues in tendons, skin, bones, cartilage, blood vessel walls and membranes.
The protein has been described as the glue that holds the body together.
Wound healing involves an orderly progression of events to fix damaged tissue.
Collagen fibers maintain the structure of the body’s organs and tissues and play a significant role in all phases of wound healing.
The fibers provide a matrix upon which skin grows.
Collagen-containing preparations are available on the market today for treating wounds, but most use collagen from animal tissue.
Such tissue must be processed to avoid immune system rejection and infection.
To address these problems, Hebrew University researchers led by Shmuel Shoshan developed a wound dressing that incorporates an inner layer of genetically engineered human collagen.
The engineered collagen becomes easily dissolved and degradable in wound tissue and forms “molecular fragments” that have proven important for healing.
Preliminary animal experiments have shown that the dressing speeds healing, spurring rapid production of new collagen fibers.
A new company, Dittekol, has been formed to commercialize the new dressing, with Shoshan as its chief scientist.