The Missouri Science and Technology just unveiled a new cotton candy-like material made from glass fibers that is capable of healing difficult to treat wounds. The soft, fluffy substance can be placed over a wound, where it melts into the tissue to provide critical elements that support blood vessel productivity, improved healing. The discovery heralds wide-ranging applications ranging from new treatments for diabetic and anemic patients to advanced wound dressings that can be administered by emergency medical technicians.
The material is a type of bioactive glass — an emerging medical technology that has been used in the past to successfully treat damaged and broken bones. The new glass is based on borate, which can be dissolved in tissue much more easily than traditional silica-based glass fibers.
The fibers act as a catalyst for tissue growth — they break down into elements that are absorbed by the body to stimulate blood vessel growth, stimulating healing. The glass material’s constancy is similar to cotton balls, so wounds can be packed with the extraordinary material easily and quickly. A recent study of showed 8 of 12 patients responded positively to the treatment.
Dr. Delbert E. Day, the principle scientist behind the discovery, is looking to commercialize the material – who knows, it may soon find its way into your first aid kit.