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 &
Researchers 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.