Novel wound treatment reduces scar tissue

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

An Adelaide researcher has been awarded $187,000 by the Federal Government to develop a novel treatment for wounds which reduces scar tissue.

Associate Professor Allison Cowin from the Women's and Children's Health Research Institute and the University of Adelaide is working on a treatment that will improve the healing of wounds and cut down on severe scarring.

Her work has attracted the attention of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which this week awarded her one of 22 development grants totalling $4.4 million and selected her project as one of the 10 best for 2008.

Associate Professor Cowin is leading a research team which has identified the important role played by a protein in altering cell proliferation and migration as a wound heals.

A novel antibody being developed by Associate Professor Cowin's research team suppresses this protein, fast tracking the healing process and leading to improved healing.

"The faster a wound heals, the better the body is protected against blood loss and infection," Associate Professor Cowin says. "But in its haste to heal, the body creates scar tissue that can cause chronic pain, deformity and disability. Children recovering from burns can be most affected, as scar tissue over joints limits their mobility, requiring repeated surgical interventions as their bodies grow.

"When the antibody is applied to wounds, the healing process is improved. Sufferers of burns and other injuries can look forward to the site of the injury looking as it did before the injury occurred," Associate Professor Cowin says.

Associate Professor Cowin is an affiliate of the University of Adelaide's Faculty of Health Sciences in the Discipline of Surgery.


Contact Details

Associate Professor Allison Cowin
Women's & Children's Health Research Institute
and Affiliate, Discipline of Surgery
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8161 7077
Mobile: 0420 375 138

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084