was during the Napoleonic wars that battlefield surgeons first
observed that soldiers, whose wounds were infested with maggots,
were healing faster and with less related fever than those whose
wounds were relatively clean
For a number of years now, specially-bred “sterile”
maggots have been used as a remedy in UK hospitals. They are
particularly useful where wounds would otherwise heal with
difficulty, like in diabetic ulcers, or where there is a venous
insufficiency - a lack of blood-flow to the wound.
At the University of Nottingham, a research team led by
Professor David Pritchard is investigating this phenomenon and has
just received a further two years’ worth of funding from the
government to develop this research.
By studying specially-bred sterile maggots of the Greenbottle
variety, rather than the more common Bluebottle, the research team
began to identify the biological factors at work. Through close
examination of the action of the fluid secreted by the maggots on
human fibroblasts, a key cell in the healing process, they
discovered that the healing process was considerably accelerated
compared to fibroblasts without enzymes.
Further studies have enabled them to identify two enzymes in
particular which can accelerate healing and they are now looking at
ways to either use them in active dressings or create a synthetic
version of the enzymes which could be used clinically in wound
dressings in the future.
- University of Nottingham
- Lab shots, various tests etc
- Sterile maggots
- Ordinary maggots
- Light box with gels showing enzyme action
- Time-lapse sequence of accelerated fibroblast activity
- Professor David Pritchard, University of Nottingham
Duration: approx. 04:30 (loose news edit)