The wound care market is estimated to be worth $35.0 billion, and has been showing strong growth globally. Wound care devices range from simple bandages to complex wound management technology, as the wound healing process can be difficult to manage.
Some wounds can become chronic as a result of diseases such as diabetes, and require complex monitoring and care. However, researchers have begun to discover ways to speed up wound healing, conceivably at the click of a button.
Using near-infrared light and a nanodevice, researchers were able to guide stem cells to the site of an injury in order to promote healing in lab mice. The nanodevice uses a specially designed DNA molecule to bind to a special receptor, called an MET receptor, which is present at the wound site and essential to healing. The receptors are linked together when the nanodevice responds to light and releases the specially designed DNA sequence. Lab mice that were given the light-activated treatment showed signs of increased muscle regeneration at the wound site.
In the future, traditional wound management might be augmented with light stimulation therapies. With an ever-increasing patient pool suffering from chronic wounds, cell-based devices could become an important element of wound closure by addressing the source of difficult-to-heal wounds at the molecular level.