University of Florida researchers have developed a coating for gauze bandages that both speeds healing and prevents fungal and bacterial infections. Moreover, the method used by this coating for its microbicidal properties is said to be highly resistant to evolved resistance. Unfortunately, the press release from UFL -- while detailed about how the bandage blocks the migration of microbes to wounds (through tightly-bonded nitrogen clusters) and how it promotes healing (by pulling excess moisture from wounds) -- says little about how the microbicidal coating actually kills bacteria and fungi.
If this material actually does what the researchers say it does (and clinical trials will start later this year), this could be a very useful tool for preventing the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections.
LOL...sounded like honey, to me, up until the end. Research has shown time and again that impregnating bandages with pure, plain honey does the same thing, the only difference being that their version will probably cost you a bundle, if you can get it.
Honey's hygroscopic, which causes it to dehydrate microbes in the wound (something microbes do not develop resistance to), yet moist enough to encourage superior granulation and tissue recovery and provide a sort of semi-liquid nutrient support matrix for regrowing cells (which don't dry out due to the support of the body via lymph fluid delivery, something treating a wound with honey also helps encourage).
Almost all wound studies with honey-soaked bandages showed that it sterilized wounds within a week, and (unlike many treatments, including the "gold standard" silver sulfadiazine) the wounds almost universally stayed sterile. Honey also keeps the bandage from sticking and from irritating the wound, thereby eliminating healing delays due to undesired debriding and inflammation.
I'm tickled to death to see that after all this time science has, through years of painstaking research and the expenditure of no doubt millions in grant money, managed to find a way to replicate the anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and healing-support activity of a readily available and dirt cheap bandage coating.
Here's a Schultz patent from 2004:
Unless they've squeezed out some new stuff since then, they're using a cellulose-based bandage with an amine-functional polymer attached to it. Collagen and appropriate healing-promoting enzyme inhibitors are attached to some of the amine groups and the rest of the amine groups are protonated to give positively-charged ammonium groups that tend to kill bacteria by interacting with their cell membranes (any biologists want to help out with the explanation? I am but a simple chemist.)
The reqson they dont use honey is its too slow. By the time it disifects the wound the infection has already spread. Also what they realy want is a battlefield patch that seals the wound and quickly kills all germs. They are aqmazingly close too.