Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Maggot juice can heal wounds

Scientists in the UK are working on bandages containing fluids secreted by maggots that they say can help accelerate the body's healing process. From New Scientist:
Britland and colleagues established the wound-healing capacity of "maggot juice" by applying extracts of the secretion to layers of cells that mimic skin. When they created artificial, circular "wounds" in the layers, the wounds healed fastest when exposed to the extracts.

They suggest that protease enzymes in the juice enable repair cells to move more swiftly and freely within the wound site. "They all march in unison and fill the hole significantly quicker," says co-team leader, David Pritchard at the University of Nottingham in the UK.

The researchers showed that the holes healed just as quickly whether the juice was applied directly or in a prototype gel which could be developed into a wound dressing.

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