Drawing inspiration from plants, animals to restore skin tissue

first_imgResearchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed new wound dressings that dramatically accelerate healing and improve tissue regeneration. The two different types of nanofiber dressings, described in separate papers, use proteins that naturally occur in plants and animals to promote healing and regrow tissue.“Our fiber-manufacturing system was developed specifically for the purpose of developing therapeutics for the wounds of war,” said Kit Parker, the Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at SEAS and senior author of the research. “As a soldier in Afghanistan, I witnessed horrible wounds and, at times, the healing process for those wounds was a horror unto itself. This research is a years-long effort by many people on my team to help with these problems.”Parker is also a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute.The most recent paper, published in Biomaterials, describes a wound dressing inspired by fetal tissue.In the late 1970s, when scientists first started studying the wound-healing process early in development, they discovered something unexpected: Wounds incurred before the third trimester left no scars. This opened a range of possibilities for regenerative medicine. But for decades, researchers have struggled to replicate those unique properties of fetal skin.Unlike adult skin, fetal skin has high levels of a protein called fibronectin, which assembles into the extracellular matrix and promotes cell binding and adhesion. Fibronectin has two structures: globular, which is found in blood, and fibrous, which is found in tissue. Even though fibrous fibronectin holds the most promise for wound healing, previous research focused on the globular structure, in part because manufacturing fibrous fibronectin was a major engineering challenge.But Parker and his team are pioneers in the field of nanofiber engineering.The researchers made fibrous fibronectin using a fiber-manufacturing platform called Rotary Jet-Spinning (RJS), developed by Parker’s Disease Biophysics Group. RJS works likes a cotton-candy machine — a liquid polymer solution, in this case globular fibronectin dissolved in a solvent, is loaded into a reservoir and pushed out through a tiny opening by centrifugal force as the device spins. As the solution leaves the reservoir, the solvent evaporates and the polymers solidify. The centrifugal force unfolds the globular protein into small, thin fibers. These fibers — less than one micrometer in diameter — can be collected to form a large-scale wound dressing or bandage.“The dressing integrates into the wound and acts like an instructive scaffold, recruiting different stem cells that are relevant for regeneration and assisting in the healing process before being absorbed into the body,” said Christophe Chantre, a graduate student in the Disease Biophysics Group and first author of the paper.In in vivo testing, the researchers found that wounds treated with the fibronectin dressing showed 84 percent tissue restoration within 20 days, compared with 55.6 percent restoration in wounds treated with a standard dressing.,The researchers also demonstrated that wounds treated with the fibronectin dressing had almost normal epidermal thickness and dermal architecture, and even regrew hair follicles — often considered one of the biggest challenges in the field of wound healing.“This is an important step forward,” said Chantre. “Most work done on skin regeneration to date involves complex treatments combining scaffolds, cells, and even growth factors. Here we were able to demonstrate tissue repair and hair follicle regeneration using an entirely material approach. This has clear advantages for clinical translation.”In another paper published in Advanced Healthcare Materials, the Disease Biophysics Group demonstrated a soy-based nanofiber that also enhances and promotes wound healing.Soy protein contains both estrogen-like molecules — which have been shown to accelerate wound healing — and bioactive molecules similar to those that build and support human cells.“Both the soy- and fibronectin-fiber technologies owe their success to keen observations in reproductive medicine,” said Parker. “During a woman’s cycle, when her estrogen levels go high, a cut will heal faster. If you do a surgery on a baby still in the womb, they have scar-less wound healing. Both of these new technologies are rooted in the most fascinating of all the topics in human biology — how we reproduce.”In a similar way to fibronectin fibers, the research team used RJS to spin ultrathin soy fibers into wound dressings. In experiments, the soy- and cellulose-based dressing demonstrated a 72 percent increase in healing over wounds with no dressing and a 21 percent increase in healing over wounds dressed without soy protein.“These findings show the great promise of soy-based nanofibers for wound healing,” said Seungkuk Ahn, a graduate student in the Disease Biophysics Group and first author of the paper. “These one-step, cost-effective scaffolds could be the next generation of regenerative dressings and push the envelope of nanofiber technology and the wound-care market.”Both kinds of dressing, according to researchers, have advantages in the wound-healing space. The soy-based nanofibers — consisting of cellulose acetate and soy protein hydrolysate — are inexpensive, making them a good option for large-scale use, such as on burns. The fibronectin dressings, on the other hand, could be used for smaller wounds on the face and hands, where preventing scarring is important.The Harvard Office of Technology Development has protected the intellectual property relating to these projects and is exploring commercialization opportunities.This study on soy-based nanofibers published in Advanced Healthcare Materials was co-authored by Chantre, Alanna R. Gannon, Johan U. Lind, Patrick H. Campbell, Thomas Grevesse, and Blakely B. O’Connor. The research was supported in part by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, where Parker is a core faculty member, the Harvard University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), and the National Science Foundation.The Biomaterials paper on fibronectin-based wound healing was funded in part by the Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and the Wyss Institute. It was co-authored by Campbell, Ahn, Holly M. Golecki, Adrian T. Buganza, Andrew K. Capulli, Leila F. Deravi, Stephanie Dauth, Sean P. Sheehy, Jeffrey A. Paten, Karl Gledhill, Yanne S. Doucet, Hasan E. Abaci, Benjamin D. Pope, Jeffrey W. Ruberti, Simon P. Hoerstrup, and Angela M. Christiano.last_img read more

Bayern prepare to take revenge on Eintracht with Dortmund looming

first_img“Each of us has at least one game without an audience behind us and we know what to expect,” he said. “Before the game against Union we trained in our stadium. So the team knows what kind of atmosphere they can expect. We like playing at the Allianz Arena.”Bayern lead Borussia Dortmund by four points and the two teams meet on Tuesday, when Bayern travel to the Ruhr for a potentially pivotal match.Flick insisted his team would not be distracted on Saturday.“The duel with Dortmund next week will not matter. We’ll play against Frankfurt. That’s the next step we want to take. Only then will we look towards Dortmund.”Bayern have three long-term injury absentees: Philippe Coutinho and Corentin Tolisso (who both underwent ankle surgery in April) and Niklas Suele who is recovering from a knee ligament injury.“Niklas has expressed the desire to play this season. We must see what the stability in the knee allows,” said Flick. Munich, Germany | AFP | Bundesliga leaders Bayern continue their renewed season with only one injury doubt ahead of a home game against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.Coach Hansi Flick said in an on-line press conference on Friday that central midfielder Thiago was unlikely to play because of a hip muscle problem.“We’ll have to wait,” Flick said.Frankfurt are 13th in the table and lost at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach last Saturday for a fourth straight Bundesliga defeat, but they humiliated Bayern 5-1 in November.Even though Bayern were reduced to 10 men after nine minutes that day when Jerome Boateng was sent off, that defeat cost Flick’s predecessor Niko Kovac his job.“Frankfurt overwhelmed us there with their dynamism,” Flick said. “It’s a different game, with different conditions. It starts at zero.”Bayern won behind closed doors away to Union Berlin last Sunday. This will be their first match at home since the  league resumed. Bayern Munich have a chance to atone for their 5-1 humiliation at Frankfurt in Novembercenter_img Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Cats finish seventh at UBC Okanagan; Salmo Falcons take Gold Division

first_imgThird-ranked Mount Sentinel held their own in finishing seventh at the UBC Okanagan Heat High School Girl’s Volleyball Tournament Saturday in Kelowna.Eighth-ranked College Heights of Prince George defeated the Wildcats 22-25, 26-24, 12-15 in the battle for fifth spot.”The big lesson learned is that against the best in the province ‘there are no nap times’,” said Mount Sentinel head coach Joe Moreira.”Each time we lost focus we got beat up.”The Wildcats opened the 48-team tournament losing to Kelowna Secondary (2-0), Handsworth of North Vancouver (2-0) and Vernon’s Kalamalka (2-1).”Although we were 0-3 it is a bit misleading because we were playing in tier 1 (top 12 teams in the tournament) in a field of 48 teams,” Moreira explained.Saturday, the Cats were able to rebound during the playoff round pulling the upset with a 25-21, 25-23 straight set win over fourth-ranked 4A South Kamloops.”It was clear from the beginning of the match that we were intent in competing from beginning to the end,” said Moreira. “We served tough, passed well and we caught them napping.”In quarterfinal play the Cats lost 25-16, 25-15 to a strong Elphinstone team.Mount Sentinel returns to Kelowna Friday to compete in the Best in the West tournament.Falcons top Gold Division at UBC-OThe Salmo Falcons knocked off Summerland in straight sets to claim the Division title at the UBC Okanagan Heat High School Girl’s Volleyball Tournament Saturday in Kelowna.The Falcons won the championship in straight sets 25-22, 26-24.J.V. Humphries of Kaslo finished fifth by stopping Pleasant Valley of Armstrong 25-13, 25-20.J.Lloyd Crowe of Trail lost to Summerland in the semi final round.Bombers ninth in Blue DivisionThe L.V. Rogers Bombers finished tied for ninth in the Blue Division of the the UBC Okanagan Heat High School Girl’s Volleyball Tournament Saturday in Kelowna.LVR suffered losses to George Elliott of Winfield and Chestemere in consolation round play.last_img read more

UPDATE: Leafs 2-0 on Okanagan road trip

first_imgNelson Leafs exploded for four goals in the third period to dump the Kelowna Chiefs 5-1 Satuday in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action in the Central Okanagan City.Travis Wellman, Carsen Willans, Tyler Garcia and Alec Wilkerson scored for Nelson in a period the Leafs out shot the Chiefs 15-5.Cole Arcuri and Kyle Hazelwood exchanged first period goals.Tyler Moffat made 19 saves to register his ninth win of the season.The Leafs wrap up the three-game road swing Sunday afternoon in Summerland against the Steam.Former Leaf Matthew Naka was in the lineup for the Chiefs. Naka, traded to Kelowna last week, registered no points in the game.Wellman scores twice to power Leaf past North Okanagan 5-1 Travis Wellman scored twice to pace the Nelson Leafs to a 5-1 win over North Okanagan Knights in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday night in Armstrong.Nelson scored three times in the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit en route to the win.Brandon Sookro, Bryce Nielsen and Darnel St. Pierre added singles at Nelson pushed its season record to 11-0-1-1.Wellan, increasing his goal scoring lead to 21, finished the game with three points.St. Pierre, Jamie Vlanich and Alex Wilkerson each had two points.Mat Lambert scored the lone goal for the Knights, which led 1-0 after the first periodd.Nelson, leading the Murdoch Division by six points over Beaver Valley, out shot North Okanagan 37-31 making a winner out of goalie Tyler Moffat.Nelson travels to Kelowna to take on the Chief Saturday.The Leafs conclude the three-game swing through the Okanagan with a game Sunday in Summerland.last_img read more