The low price tag and mild flavor has made tilapia a staple dinnertime fish for many people. Now it could have another use: helping to heal our wounds. A new study has shown that a protein found in this fish can promote skin repair in rats without an immune reaction, suggesting possible future use for human patients.
The article titled 'Development of Biomimetic Tilapia Collagen Nanofibers for Skin Regeneration through Inducing Keratinocytes Differentiation and Collagen Synthesis of Dermal Fibroblasts' was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
AdvertisementResearchers at American Chemical Society explain that applying collagen - a major structural protein in animals - to wounds can help encourage skin to heal faster. But when the protein dressing comes from some mammals, it has the potential to transmit conditions such as foot-and-mouth disease. Looking for an alternative source of collagen, scientists recently turned to the ocean.
They wanted to test fish collagen's potential as a more benign wound treatment and later developed nanofibers from tilapia collagen and used them to cover skin wounds on rats. The rats with the nanofiber dressing healed faster than those without it. Lab tests on cells show that the fish collagen is not likely to cause an immune reaction. The researchers conclude that it could be a good candidate to develop for clinical use.
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