08 Sep, 2011
Wellington-based biotechnology company Mesynthes is using meat-processing waste to create wound-healing products.
Listen to audio: Wound healing products
Biomaterial from sheep fore-stomachs
Mesynthes is using collagen-based biomaterial harvested from sheep fore-stomachs to develop a range of wound-healing products.
A sheep’s fore-stomach is where food is partly digested before being regurgitated as cud. The tissue in the fore-stomach is thick and robust with a continuous layer of extracellular matrix (ECM) running through it. This ECM is harvested as the biomaterial for the wound-healing products and provides a scaffolding structure to support tissue regeneration.
Mesynthes has created a product for treating chronic external wounds, like venous ulcers, diabetic wounds and second-degree burns. The product is rehydrated with sterile saline, before being placed onto the wound. The cells in the wound migrate into the material, which, over time, is completely replaced by the patient’s own tissue.
The company has several other products in the pipeline including one they are developing for internal applications such as after a hernia operation and another that incorporates an anti-microbial agent to prevent infection.
With their sights firmly set on the United States market, Mesynthes is confident that their technology is competitive. Scientific director Barnaby May takes Ruth Beran through the lab to explain how the biomaterial works and introduces members of the development team.
Programme details: Our Changing World
- 27 September 2011