Wound-healing ink from a high-tech pen could soon replace bandages.


Nanjing, China – The body has an amazing ability to heal itself, but sometimes wounds need a little extra help. Now scientists say that they have created a revolutionary color that can actively enhance the body’s healing processes. Using a 3D-printing pen, this wound-healing ink, known as PINT (portable bioactive ink for tissue healing), offers to cut off immune cells, resulting in faster and more efficient healing.

When our skin is damaged, our body’s natural healing mechanisms kick in, working tirelessly to repair the damage. Although bandages and stitches can help the process, they cannot actively speed it up. That’s where PINT comes in: By incorporating white blood cells and extracellular vesicles (EVs) into a hydrogel-based ink, the researchers were able to create a powerful healing tool. These EVs play an important role in the formation of blood vessels and in reducing inflammation during the healing process.

Using a 3D printing pen, PAINT is applied directly to the wound. A pigment composed of EVs derived from macrophages and sodium alginate rapidly forms a solid gel at the site of injury. In human epithelial cells, the EVs in PAINT promote the formation of blood vessels and reduce inflammatory markers, facilitating the healing process. According to a media release, the paint significantly accelerated the formation of collagen fibers, a vital component of wound healing. Mice treated with PAINT showed remarkable growth, with large lesions nearly healed after only 12 days.

Bioink wound healing design
(Credit: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces)

This breakthrough technology has the potential to revolutionize wound healing, making it faster and easier. Complex procedures may no longer be necessary as PAINT provides a simple yet effective solution. The researchers found that PINT can be used to treat many types of cuts and wounds, resulting in fast and efficient healing without complications.

The research was supported by various funding sources, including the Leading-Edge Technology Program of Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation, Natural Science Foundation, Jiangsu Provincial Natural Science Foundation, and others.

The study was published in the journal ACS applied materials and interfaces.

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