New Wound-Dressing Technology Invented in Astana

ASTANA – A new method of producing biological dressings for wounds has been invented in Astana.

Healing long-term open wounds, trophic ulcers and other skin injuries has long been a difficult problem. About 10,000 people in Kazakhstan suffer from skin lesions, including burns (burns account for 3.5 percent of all injuries). Global medical practice for some time has been to use various types of natural biological dressings made of animal or human tissue to protect large-scale skin injuries. The dressings serve as a temporary cover for the wound, creating the conditions for healing and skin regeneration.

The main advantage of the conventional biological coatings over gauze bandages is their ability to retain moisture and other vital elements of healing. A significant drawback of these dressings is their high cost, both in obtaining the raw materials and in creating the final product.

In some countries, particularly in Australia, temporary biological wound coverings are made from the tissues of unborn calves, but this process is labour intensive and expensive. Specialists of the National Scientific Centre of Emergency Aid in cooperation with the National Centre for Biotechnology have developed a totally new way to clean the surface of the abdominal membrane of cattle so it can be used as a wound dressing.

“From year to year, we are working on the development of new techniques and technologies that help in the treatment of extensive skin lesions. Not so long ago, we began to use allogeneic transplantation [transplants using other human tissue]. When treating wounds, we transplant cultured skin cells: embryonic fibroblasts, which are powerful stimulators of healing. This method improves the results of skin plastic surgery: the wound is completely eliminated or at least substantially reduced in size,” said head of one of the centre’s departments Kabylbek Abugaliyev.

“But we decided to go even further. The essence of our development is the cultivation of cells on the surface of cattle tissues. In other words, we take the film from the surface of the abdominal muscles of cattle and remove all animal cells, leaving only the collagen matrix, which in all mammals has a homogeneous structure. Then we grow skin cells on the surface of this collagen and perform the transplant,” he continued.

The purification method developed by Abugaliyev and his colleagues at the National Centre for Biotechnology allows unwanted cells to be purged completely and the membrane to be used along with elements of silver and povidone-iodine, which accelerate the regeneration of skin cells.

In the future, after the completion of laboratory and clinical tests, it is planned to launch production of these new biological dressings for widespread use in clinical practice.

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