A new bandage mimics the natural tissue that forms as a wound heals. The gauze, made from the blood protein fibrinogen, could be applied as a dressing that need never be removed. The body would treat it as normal healing, gradually dissolving it as new skin grows.
During natural blood clotting, an enzyme converts fibrinogen into a web of insoluble fibres of the related protein fibrin. This protects the injury from infection and stops bleeding.
Gary Bowlin and colleagues from Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, have devised a way to spin extremely fine fibrinogen fibres. A sheet of this fibrinogen gauze should both stop bleeding quickly and speed up the healing process, claims Bowlin’s team.