Cuts, cracks, abrasions and other damage to the outer skin are relatively easy to repair. If the damage is severe, sutures should be applied. In most cases, you can limit yourself to a normal patch. However, this approach does not work with internal organs. Although there are sometimes minor injuries that do not require major surgery. To this end, a group of researchers from the US has created a "patch" that can heal wounds in the gut.
Why do I need a "plaster" for the intestine?
First and foremost, of course, it will help with a disease called "duodenal ulcer". Finally, the open ulcer is regularly exposed to mechanical and physical influences and heals very poorly, and the wrapping preparations act very briefly. The same applies to erosion and other damage to the intestinal walls. In addition, it is impossible to exclude the benefit of the material for healing joints after operations ("sticking in" from the inside), etc.
What is a "patch" for the intestine
In fact, the word "patch" is not just quoted. This is not so much about the principle of use (measured-cut-glued), but about how the "patch" itself works (closing the wound for further healing). The invention relates to a mixture of probiotic hydrogels of mucoadhesive nanofibers. Sounds complicated? Actually, everything is very simple: Hydrogels based on mucoadhesive nanofibers allow substances to "adhere" to the intestinal surface. And the word "probiotic" means that substances contribute to the growth and development of "beneficial" microflora.
This is a completely new and unique newly developed living material. " Neil Joshi from Weiss University, one of the inventors. In addition, no special storage conditions are required. Enough conditions for the storage of conventional medicines.
How to create a "intestinal plaster"
According to scientists, they use genetically engineered, non-pathogenic strains of E. coli bacteria to make hydrogels to make the material. These hydrogels have a viscosity that is very similar to the viscosity of the gastrointestinal mucus (GIT). In addition, in various sections of the gastrointestinal tract, the viscosity of the mucus is different, but bacteria can also be "programmed" differently so that the hydrogel acts exactly where it is needed.
See also: A patch instead of injections is a new type of flu vaccine.
To facilitate hydrogel formation, the researchers programmed a non-pathogenic strain of the gut bacterium E. coli to synthesize a variant of the CsgA Curli protein. He is responsible for the production of mucus.
Naturally produced biofilms are known to inhibit wound healing processes if not removed in a timely manner. Essentially, we have "hacked" one of the basic mechanisms that enable "patches" to fulfill their primary wound healing function. After completion of the work they "destroy" themselves and do not disturb the further regeneration process.
Not without the stage of laboratory tests. In the introduction of hydrogels into laboratory rodents by mouth, it turned out that hydrogels can withstand the aggressive environment of the stomach and reach the "site of action", with up to 90% of the active ingredient remaining intact. At the same time, it became known that the duration of action of living bacteria in hydrogels is prolonged due to the development of new and new mucus. By regulating the number of bacteria you can thus control the duration of the "patch". The more bacteria there are, the higher it is. Vice versa.
Scientists are now aiming for a series of experiments on humans. According to the inventors, their development will help in the treatment of a number of gastrointestinal pathologies. In particular, duodenal ulcer.
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