Hydrogel Promotes Wound Healing Better Than Traditional Bandages, Gauzes

For explosion wounds as well as some incurred in disasters and accidents, severe hemorrhage is a leading cause of death. Hydrogel dressings, which have advanced in recent years, may help; they are good at promoting wound healing and can better meet the demands of different situations. Many are antibacterial, biodegradable, responsive, and injectable and can fill irregularly shaped wounds. In APL Bioengineering, researchers in China examine some of the recent advances.

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Researchers use lasers and molecular tethers to create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering

University of Washington researchers developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages to affect cell behavior. Their approach uses near-infrared lasers to trigger chemical adhesion of proteins to scaffolds made from biological polymers like collagen.

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3D-Printed Smart Gel Changes Shape When Exposed to Light

Inspired by the color-changing skin of cuttlefish, octopuses and squids, Rutgers engineers have created a 3D-printed smart gel that changes shape when exposed to light, becomes “artificial muscle” and may lead to new military camouflage, soft robotics and flexible displays. The engineers also developed a 3D-printed stretchy material that can reveal colors when light changes, according to their study in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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Coaxing single stem cells into specialized cells

Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have developed a unique method for precisely controlling the deposition of hydrogel, which is made of water-soluble polymers commonly used to support cells in experiments or for therapeutic purposes. The researchers noticed that their technique – which allows for the encapsulation of a single cell within a minute hydrogel droplet – can be used to coax bone marrow stem cells into specialized cells.

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Tiny Biological Package Gets Drug Right To The ‘Heart’ Of Transplant Rejection

For patients who receive a heart transplant in the near future, the old adage, “Good things come in small packages,” may become words to live by. In a recent study, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) demonstrated in mice that they can easily deliver a promising anti-rejection drug directly to the area surrounding a grafted heart by packaging it within a tiny three-dimensional, protein gel cocoon known as a hydrogel. Best of all, the researchers say that the release of the drug is spread out over time, making it highly regulatable and eliminating the need for daily medication to keep rejection in check.

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A Great New Way to Paint 3D-Printed Objects

Rutgers engineers have created a highly effective way to paint complex 3D-printed objects, such as lightweight frames for aircraft and biomedical stents, that could save manufacturers time and money and provide new opportunities to create “smart skins” for printed parts. The findings are published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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