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Medical debut for bullfrog skin

Patented technology employed in products that treat chronic wounds.

23rd August 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Singapore


A new clinical-grade collagen patch made from discarded bullfrog skin has been developed by materials scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in collaboration with Singapore medical technology firm Cuprina Wound Care Solutions.

The patented technology is now exclusively licensed to Cuprina, which specialises in developing products that treat chronic wounds, such as those suffered by diabetes patients, for scale-up and commercial production.

The new collagen patch will complement Cuprina’s flagship product Medifly, which is clinically proven to eliminate infections and reduce amputation rates due to chronic wounds, especially in cases associated with diabetic foot ulcers.

In earlier work, the NTU Singapore research team developed a biomaterial to aid in bone repair using discarded bullfrog skin and fish scales obtained from local aquaculture farms.

Through laboratory experiments, the scientists found that human bone-forming cells seeded onto the biomaterial scaffold successfully attached themselves and started multiplying. They also found that the risk of the biomaterial triggering an inflammatory response was low.

Such a scaffold could be used to help with the regeneration of bone tissue lost to disease or injury, such as jaw defects from trauma or cancer surgery. It could also assist bone growth around surgical implants such as dental implants.

The scientists believe the biomaterial is a promising alternative to the current standard practice of using a patient’s own tissues, which requires additional surgery for bone extraction.

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