Healing Wounds with Seaweed Bioinks

 Seagriculture EU 2024
Dr. Pia Winberg and Gordon Wallace

Venus Shell Systems Founder and Director Dr. Pia Winberg with ACES Director Professor Gordon Wallace.

by Sam Findlay

Scientists from Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterial Science (ACES) and University of Wollongong (UOW), in partnership with their seaweed bioinks collaborators Venus Shell Systems, have discovered that a molecular species known as ulvan aids wound healing in humans.

Their research paper is the cover story on the latest issue of Biomaterials Science. Titled “3D bioprinting dermal-like structures using species-specific ulvan,” the new findings outline how ulvan contained in green seaweed can play a key role in wound healing — because its structure closely resembles the biomolecules found in humans.

The team behind the paper from ACES and UOW includes Director Prof Gordon Wallace and researchers A/Prof Stephen Berine, Dr Zhilian Yue and Xifang Chen, in collaboration with Venus Shell System’s Dr. Pia Winberg and stem cell biologist Prof Yan-Ru Lou from Fundan University.

“Wound healing occurs in a 3D environment involving a number of cell types and biomolecules, so the use of 3D bioprinting to create scaffolds for wound healing has attracted much attention,” said Prof Wallace. “Here we have formulated a bioink for 3D bioprinting, containing ulvan and discovered that its presence assists in the proliferation of cells involved in wound healing.”

The team’s findings showed that ulvan also regulates the function of cells when producing key biomolecules used for healing, a positive step forward for the research. “Ulvan acts as molecular reinforcement in 3D printed scaffolds, a key feature in preventing structure contraction, and hence minimizes scarring,” said Prof Wallace.

ACES researchers have been collaborating with Dr. Winberg and Venus Shell Systems for many years to meet clinical challenges. “It has been so exciting to begin the journey of unlocking molecules from seaweed and delivering them to new heights in partnership with researchers in biomaterials,” said Dr. Winberg.

“The molecules we have found from a unique species of Australian green seaweed are uncannily similar in structure and function to the molecules that exists in human skin. It will be exciting when this translates into improving the health outcomes for patients,” she said.

All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint articles in their entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeplanet.com. Algae Planet accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

Seagriculture USA 2024
AlgaeMetrics

Subscribe

Breaking-News

  • April 22, 2024: New England Kelp Harvest Week, a project started by the Sugar Kelp Collective in 2021, runs from April 20-30 this year. The group of kelp farmers and activists works with restaurants, bakeries, and fish markets to create special dishes and menus that use the sea vegetable, which grows in winter and is harvested in the spring. Across Connecticut, this provides an ideal opportunity for people to explore dishes and cocktails made with kelp. READ MORE...
  • April 19, 2024: Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who took spirulina had a lower risk of death than those who did not, according to results of a randomized controlled trial recently published in Frontiers in Immunology. READ MORE...
  • April 17, 2024: A research team exploring the untapped potential of seaweed farming for carbon sequestration is positioning Taiwan to play a role in offsetting global carbon emissions. READ MORE...
  • April 15, 2024: Somater, a French manufacturer of plastic and polymer primary packaging for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food, and industry, has partnered with French start-up Eranova to create a 100% bio-based line of packaging from green algae collected on the banks of a brackish water lagoon near Marseille, in the south of France. READ MORE...

Algae Europe 2024

A Beginner’s Guide