An injectable hydrogel from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science helps skin wounds heal more quickly. An instant scaffold created by the material allows new tissue to latch on and grow within the cavities formed between linked spheres of gel.

A packed cluster of microscopic synthetic polymer spheres attach at their surfaces. The cluster creates a scaffold of microporous annealed particles, or a MAP gel, that fills in the wound. As the spheres degrade into the body, a matrix of new tissue quickly forms between the microspheres and at the site of the wound. New tissue continues growing until the wound is completely healed.

During in vivo tests, the researchers observed significant tissue regeneration in the first 48 hours, with further healing over five days. The engineers envision the material to be valuable in wound applications, including lacerations, surgical wound closures, diabetic ulcers, and large-area burn wounds.