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Scientists devise new treatment for diabetic wounds

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Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology- Madras, Chennai and CSIR- Central Leather Research Institute, Adyar, Chennai have developed a new drug combination to effectively treat diabetic wounds.

Polyglutamic acid, a type of polymer made of amino acid and glutamic acid, which aids in the biosynthesis of proteins, has been known to help with healing wounds. However, the healing properties of L-Glutamic acid (LG), another type of glutamic acid widely occurring in nature, have not been studied yet. LG is also known to be a precursor to collagen synthesis which is a major component of fibrous tissue, tendons, ligaments and skin.

In their new study, the scientists combined LG along with Chitosan (CS) hydrogels, a major component of chitin cells found in shrimps and other crustaceans. The combination of LG and CS was found to remain stable under varying temperatures, and also showed smooth surface morphology and controlled biodegradation. Compared to chitosan alone or natural healing of the wounds, the combination of CS and LG showed a rapid wound contraction. The combination drug also showed significant reduction in the time taken for epithelialisation, where tissue forms to protect a wound from the environment. While epithelialisation takes around 26 days naturally and around 20 days with chitosan alone, it took only around 16 days LG+CS hydrogels.

Diabetic rats treated with a combination of LG+CS hydrogels showed an improved collagen synthesis and crosslinking. A dressing of the wounds using the combination drug also revealed and increase in vascularisation- process by which new blood vessels are formed, while also increasing the recruitment of macrophages- a type of white blood cell that protects from infections.

The scientists believe “these results demonstrate that incorporation of LG aid in faster tissue regeneration. Therefore, CS + LG hydrogels could be an effective wound dressing used to treat diabetic wounds.”