New "Nanosheets" Heal Burn Wounds, Adapt To Your Skin

All the medical technology in the world sometimes can't help undo the trouble we humans get ourselves into. Fortunately, a new discovery may help with one of the world's oldest and most difficult medical issues: effectively and safely treating burns.

According to, a new material called "nanosheets" is in development to combat infection and aid in healing for those afflicted by burn wounds. Ultra-thin and pliant (so that they move as skin would move), the nanosheets have met with success in clinical trials on mice. The results are being presented this week at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which happens to be the world's largest scientific society.

Developer Yosuke Okamura, Ph.D. specifically created the nanosheets to adapt to the many contours and crevasses of the human body. This is important because, as he says, "The nanosheets can adhere not only to flat surfaces, but also to uneven and irregular surfaces without adding any adhesives." The sticky but sterile nanosheets are made from a biodegradable polyester called poly(L-lactic acid), also known as PLLA, piece of which are spun in a test tube with water, then poured out and allowed to dry as a single nanosheet.

The nanosheets are effective at combating infection for up to three days with only one application, or six days after two. The eliminated need for frequent changing of a burn victim's dressings would help speed recovery. The nanosheets are also capable of fighting bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen notorious for causing skin infections.

While it will be a while yet before humans stop inventing mechanisms to cause gross bodily harm to each other, at least a solution to the results is coming along nicely.

Nanosheets: saving your skin.

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