Silks and shells can repair human tissue – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Underneath the EU-funded undertaking REMIX, researchers from Europe and Asia have joined forces to turn…

Underneath the EU-funded undertaking REMIX, researchers from Europe and Asia have joined forces to turn all-natural textile and meals fibres, which include silk and shells, into slicing-edge professional medical programs this kind of as prosthetics and human tissue mend.


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Organic fibres from components this kind of as silk and crab shells could be applied in medication to substitute synthetic components like plastics to take care of destroyed human tissue.

Underneath the EU-funded undertaking REMIX, tissue-engineering researchers from Europe and Asia are establishing the naturally derived materials’ exceptional attributes for tissue mend to assistance patients triumph over health problems, as perfectly as for use in professional medical prosthetics and as carriers for medications.

‘We’re functioning on the design and use of synthetic matrixes derived from silk and other components that can talk with the biological environment, helping the process of therapeutic and regeneration of tissues destroyed by ailment or trauma,’ suggests Professor Antonella Motta, researcher at the University of Trento, Italy, and REMIX undertaking coordinator.

The undertaking is focusing on reusing the silk that is a squander merchandise in the textile field as perfectly as other squander components like leftover cashmere animal hairs, polymers derived from vegetation and algae, and squander meals products and solutions from crustaceans and marine organisms, which include jellyfish. This suggests they are reasonably priced, sustainable and all-natural, and in shape into the strategy of a circular financial system by giving squander products and solutions a new daily life.

Mobile regeneration with silk

Underneath the undertaking, experts from the University of Trento in Italy and the University of Chonbuk in South Korea have presently learned that silk, collagen and laminin – a protein located in human tissue – can be applied to construct a molecule that mimics a all-natural, more-cellular matrix construction that can assistance with the regeneration of cells in the body’s central nervous procedure.

In the meantime, researchers from Italy, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and the Mongolian University of Science and Technological know-how have included sea buckthorn oil into alginate hydrogels to address destroyed skin.

Researchers from Thailand and the University of Minho, Portugal have worked collectively to create a process that accelerates the gelation of a silk remedy employing phospholipids located in soya, rapeseed, sunflower, chicken eggs, bovine milk and fish eggs. This product could then be injected into wounds to fill in destroyed spots, decreasing the invasiveness of surgical techniques. REMIX has presently submitted two patents on two of the strategies its experts have created.

Regeneration and regrowth

The undertaking has also produced substantial improvements in the industry of all-natural prosthetics. Health-related prosthetics are now produced of plastics – which include polyethylene, polypropylene, acrylics and polyurethane – as perfectly as some all-natural components. Earlier, components this kind of as wooden, rubber and lightweight metals ended up applied.

The all-natural silk applied in REMIX is produced by silkworms and silk spiders it has the pros of becoming lighter on the environment and possessing a lot less impact on the human system. ‘Our prosthetics are designed to endorse entire therapeutic by the regeneration and regrowth of useful tissues,’ suggests Motta.

The undertaking is also employing silk to make 3D in-vitro styles that can be applied for screening medications and beauty products and solutions, averting animal screening. In addition, researchers are carrying out a main in-depth evaluation of the use of silk, as perfectly as checking out how the strategies they create could be standardised and repeatable.

After the undertaking final results are prepared, REMIX will make them offered on an open platform for all researchers to use. They will then find the most promising final results and aim to work with industrial providers to use these in commercial products and solutions.
‘The vision is to create a platform to velocity up the progress of products and solutions on the market at an cost-effective value,’ suggests Motta.

REMIX gained funding from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme.