A new kind of wound care may be derived from human saliva

The body is a complex and intriguing system, and clinicians can learn more about it by staying abreast of current research developments. Some of this news can be significant for patient care developments, particularly for wound care and wound healing.

Now, a new study titled “Molecule in human saliva has potential for wound healing: Salivary peptide histatin-1 aids in wound healing” – published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s Journal – found that a molecule found in human saliva may assist the wound healing process. The study examined the reasons why wounds inside of the mouth seem to heal more quickly than wounds elsewhere on the body. It was understood that saliva was responsible, in part, for a tear in the skin to become healthy again, but scientists were not exactly sure why. Researchers looked deeper into the molecular makeup of saliva to see exactly what affected wound healing, in particular the salivary peptide histatin-1 and how it affected blood vessel formation – an aspect that is  key to healing.

The study was conducted on three levels. The team looked at blood vessel-forming cells in a culture, in a chicken embryo and at the saliva samples from three healthy, human subjects. In all three cases, the researchers discovered that salivary peptide histatin-1 “increased” blood vessel formation.

New alternatives

Of the findings, Vicente A. Torres, Ph.D., associate professor at the Institute for Research in Dental Sciences within the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile said , “We believe that the study could help the design of better approaches to improve wound healing in tissues other than the mouth.” He also commented, “These findings open new alternatives to better understand the biology underlying the differences between oral and skin wound healing.”

The next step for researchers is to look into what can be developed with this discovery. The team are exploring implants or other wound care materials.

Wound care, according to Medscape, involves treatment of the patient in addition to caring for the wound. Adequate rest, nutrition and attention to the patient’s overall well-being can help with the process. Clinicians can help a patient ensure he or she is able to keep the wound area clean and sanitary with the use of bandages and other approved materials for wound care.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.