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Revolutionary seaweed and carbonated water hydrogel

Posted by Admin | 15 Jan

Skin, as the main interface of the human body, connects the internal and external world and is the largest and most important organ of the human body. However, it is often subject to various injuries such as cuts, scrapes, scratches, infections, and ulcers. As we age, our skin becomes more fragile and more difficult to repair itself. As the global population ages, there is a growing need for effective wound care products.


For decades, hydrogels have attracted much attention for treating skin wounds. These special gels absorb drained fluid (exudate) and keep the wound moist, helping to speed healing. The problem with these hydrogels, however, is that they often stick to skin and wounds. Once exudates are absorbed and swollen, they stretch and enlarge the wound area, causing pain to the patient and increasing the risk of bacterial infection.


To solve this problem, a team of researchers from Tokyo University of Science (TUS) in Japan developed a new low-cost hydrogel. The hydrogel, whose physical properties are completely different from traditional hydrogels, is made using ingredients found in seaweed. This research was led by Mr. Ryota Teshima, a master's student at TUS University, and has been published in the International Journal of Biomacromolecules. Also participating in this research were Assistant Professor Shigehito Osawa, Ms. Miki Yoshikawa, Associate Professor Yayoi Kawano, Professor Hidenori Tabata Otsuka and Professor Takehisa Hanazawa from different departments of TUS.


This new hydrogel provides an innovative approach to wound care and is expected to play an important role in treating skin wounds. The preparation method of hydrogel is simple and easy, and its main ingredients include alginate, calcium carbonate and carbonated water. Alginate is a biocompatible substance derived from seaweed found on beaches. The biggest feature of this substance is that it does not adhere firmly to cells or skin tissue. When alginate is combined with calcium ions, and with the help of the protective effect of carbon monoxide, the resulting hydrogel remains stable in carbonated water, which not only provides ideal pH and humidity conditions for wound recovery, but also has low adhesion and swelling.


The researchers tested the new hydrogel's therapeutic effects in cell cultures and mouse models, and the results were excellent. Mr. Teshima said: "Animal experiments confirmed that this hydrogel can not only effectively treat wounds, but also inhibit the temporary expansion of the wound area that may be caused by traditional clinical preparations. This subverts the traditional view and proves low adhesion and low swelling. 's gel is ideal as a wound dressing."


Its worth mentioning that alginate is extracted from stranded seaweed on beaches, a renewable resource that is often disposed of as coastal waste. The hydrogel is not only low-cost but also biodegradable, heralding a new chapter in the development of sustainable medicine. Mr. Teshima believes: "Currently, the field of medical materials lacks a sustainable development perspective. We believe this research will become a benchmark for future medical material design and lead to wound care solutions that are both sustainable and cost-effective." In addition, this discovery It can also help solve problems existing in hydrogel formulations currently used clinically and provide new design ideas for the next generation of wound treatment gels.