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New nanoparticles help to detect serious scarring of wounds

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David Cox
Jun 04, 2018 03:15
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A new way of seeing when heavy wound scars are forming, and providing doctors the chance to intervene, has been developed by scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Northwestern University in the United States.

Using new nanoparticles, the joint research team has shown in animals and human skin samples the potential to quickly and accurately predict whether a wound is likely to lead to excessive scarring as occurs in keloids and skin contractures.

Excessive scarring can dramatically affect a patient's quality of life, both physically and psychologically, as the scars can impede movement and activity, and can be painful when stretched

The new technique was developed by a team led by Assistant Professor Xu Chenjie from NTU's School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, nanoscience expert Professor Chad A Mirkin from Northwestern University, United States, and Dr Amy S Paller, Chair of Dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Published last month in the Nature Biomedical Engineering journal, the new detection method uses thousands of nanoparticles called NanoFlares, which have DNA strands attached to their surfaces like a ball of spikes.

Currently, apart from the visual examination of mature scars, the only other tool to detect skin diseases accurately is to perform a biopsy, where a skin tissue sample is extracted and sent for laboratory testing.

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David Cox
Jun 04, 2018 03:15
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