28.04.2014 change 28.04.2014

Polish ointments and patches for every wound

Compounds known as hydroxyapatites are mainly used as bone substitute materials, ingredients of toothpaste, sunscreens, anti-wrinkle creams and to support healing of chronic wounds. Polish scientists have developed patches and ointments that use their unique properties.

Hydroxyapatites are inorganic calcium compounds which are building blocks of our bones and teeth. They have a wide variety of applications. They are used, among others, as an active substance in the production of toothpaste for treatment of hypersensitive teeth.

In sunscreen creams, hydroxyapatites are an alternative to titanium oxide, which under the influence of solar radiation often leads to the formation of products which have a negative effect on the skin. The use of hydroxyapatites in aesthetic surgery is also increasingly popular. This compound is administered in the form of a colloidal solution, the role of which is to form a scaffold and stimulate the growth of collagen. This contributes to smoothing wrinkles. Nanohydroxyapatite may also be a carrier of drugs, including chemotherapeutic agents used in tumour targeting.

Scientists from the Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Wrocław, in collaboration with the Medical University in Wrocław, analysed their properties and found that they could be useful in the treatment of chronic and difficult to heal wounds.

About 400 thousand patients in Poland have such wounds. The factors that inhibit the healing process include insufficient blood supply, due to which tissues receive less oxygen and nutrients: proteins, vitamins, minerals. In the absence of proper treatment, wounds can cause serious infections throughout the body.

That is why it is so important that dressings and ointments used in the treatment of difficult wounds are properly prepared. Nanohydroxyapatite gels, ointments and dressings developed by researchers are universal and intended for all kinds of wounds in all their stages: from clean and infected wounds to wounds with varying degrees of exudate. "First of all, they are biocompatible, which means that they does not cause any additional toxic or allergenic effects" - the head of the research project, Dr. Rafał J. Wiglusz.

Hydroxyapatites form a scaffold for soft tissue, facilitating wound closing. They also stimulate the body to produce collagen, so that damaged tissue can rebuild and regenerate. "It\'s more an adjunct than medication. It improves the quality of life of the patient, and works especially well on pressure ulcers" - explained Dr. Wiglusz.

Although hydroxyapatites have been used in medicine for many years, they are still very little studied, and the properties of the nanostructures formed by these compounds are not commonly known. "Nanohydroxyapatites have been studied and used in Poland only for a few years. The only company that produces them is NanoSynHap in Poznań" - described the researcher.

By using nanostructures, the active surface of hydroxyapatites is much larger, and they are more effective. "Contact area between nanohydroxyapatite and damaged tissues is much larger. Particle can penetrate the wound more easily, and the results are much better" - he said.

For the prepared solution, researchers from the Institute of Low Temperature and Structural Research, together with the companies ARS MedicaBis and HascoLek received Gold Medal at Brussels Innova 2013. Hydroxyapatite research was financed by the National Science Centre and the National Centre for Research and Development.

PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland, Ewelina Krajczyńska

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