Most of us take it for granted that our injuries heal quickly. In some people, though, the repair process gets stuck and wounds take much longer to heal, leaving them vulnerable to infection. Dressings for chronic wounds prevent bacteria getting in. But now researchers have used a technique called electrospinning – in which polymer filaments 100 times thinner than a human hair are squeezed out of an electrified nozzle – to make nanofibre meshes that can draw bugs out from the wound. The size of the nanofibres is important: in lab tests, Staphylococcus aureus, attached themselves to fibres with diameters matching those of the bacteria themselves much more than to fibres with larger diameters. Because these meshes are porous and boast large surface areas, they could also be loaded with drugs to improve bacterial uptake or with proteins that encourage the production of cells involved in wound healing.
Written by Daniel Cossins
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