The gel is made from a patient’s own blood, and can help increase wound healing rates and lower the risk of allergic reactions.

The human body is a wonderful web of interconnected systems, with all sorts of mechanisms to ensure everything from proper digestion to keeping your heart beating and your lungs pumping. It’s no wonder, then, that the modern wound care industry has relied on the body itself to better address non-healing or otherwise cumbersome wounds.

For instance, doctors with the American Burn Association created engineered skin samples to treat severe burns in children. Meanwhile, scientists at the General Hospital of PLA found a wealth of stem cells in patients’ skin appendages, opening up new avenues for improved wound healing.

More recently, a team from the Barts Health NHS Trust in the U.K. has developed an exciting new gel that could provide doctors with another powerful tool.

Gel to the future

As The Daily Mail reported, the gel in question is made from vitamin C and a modified version of a patient’s blood. The gel was developed as an extension of a pre-existing approach called platelet-rich plasma. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, PRP involves the use of a patient’s blood and a centrifuge. The device separates growth factor proteins and plasma, which can then be used to help heal wounds.

This gel is the result of more refined spinning similar to the centrifuge, as it also results in more thrombin, a protein know to accelerate tissue regeneration. The addition of the vitamin C, meanwhile, gives the combination of proteins greater consistency and also creates collagen that is essential to effective wound healing. Already, the gel has been used in a hospital trial in London, featuring 66 patients with diabetic foot ulcers. In wounds that hadn’t healed in over a year with other treatments, the gel helped 90 percent of patients, usually in just a few weeks.

Not only that, but since the gel is made of a person’s own blood, there is less chance of an allergic reaction. It may be some time before the gel is used in a larger scope, but it would help millions of patients with foot ulcers and similar injuries.

The gel would be especially helpful as it relates to patients in the U.K. As the Daily Mail pointed out, in the U.K. alone, there are 5,000 amputations related to foot ulcers each year, not to mention 14 percent of these injuries won’t heal even after a year. There are similar rates in the U.S. and other countries, which proves how essential new cures and treatments are to this prominent health issue.

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