Sci­en­tists in Sin­ga­pore use nanopar­ti­cles to study wound scar­ring

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Science News -

A group of sci­en­tists at Nanyang Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity, Sin­ga­pore (NTU Sin­ga­pore) has de­vel­oped a new way of see­ing when heavy wound scars are form­ing, and thereby pro­vid­ing doc­tors the chance to in­ter­vene. Clin­i­cians cur­rently find it dif­fi­cult to pre­dict how scars will de­velop fol­low­ing surgery or af­ter a burn wound, with­out re­sort­ing to in­va­sive test­ing.

The new de­tec­tion method uses thou­sands of nanopar­ti­cles called NanoFlares, which have DNA strands at­tached to their sur­faces like a ball of spikes. Th­ese nanopar­ti­cles are ap­plied to closed wounds us­ing a cream. Af­ter the nanopar­ti­cles have pen­e­trated the skin cells for 24 hours, a hand­held flu­o­res­cence mi­cro­scope is used to look for sig­nals given out by the nanopar­ti­cles’ in­ter­ac­tion with tar­get biomark­ers in­side the skin cells. If flu­o­res­cence sig­nals are de­tected, they in­di­cate ab­nor­mal scar­ring ac­tiv­ity and pre­ven­tive ac­tion can be taken to hope­fully avoid heav­ier scar­ring.

The team has filed a patent ap­pli­ca­tion based on this tech­nol­ogy through NTU’s in­no­va­tion and com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion arm, NTUi­tive, and plan to li­cense out the tech­nol­ogy for com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion.

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