March 23, 2021: Turmeric’s antimicrobial properties are well known, and scientists at the Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) have developed a curcumin sponge bandage, commonly called a turmeric bandage, to heal wounds.
Turmeric bandage to heal wounds
Unlike existing bandages in the market, the nanoparticulate curcumin (molecule of turmeric) formulation prepared as a biodegradable polymer can be absorbed in the wound site itself.
The curcumin found in turmeric can help wounds heal by decreasing inflammation and oxidation. It also lowers the response of your body to cutaneous wounds.
This results in your wounds healing more quickly. Studies have found that turmeric can positively affect tissue and collagen as well.
The inventor, Dr. Sanjeeb Sahoo
Senior scientist Dr. Sanjeeb Sahoo has developed the technology to prepare nanoparticulate curcumin so that the major obstacles associated with curcumin delivery can be overcome.
Turmeric has been used as a herbal medicine for the treatment of a variety of ailments since centuries.
Dr Sahoo said the technology has been developed by using curcumin loaded polymers – chitosan and alginate – band-aid that have biocompatible and biodegradable properties.
Turmeric bandage and curcumin
Curcumin, the most active component of rhizome of Curcuma longa L. (common name: turmeric), has been studied for many years due to its bio-functional properties, especially antioxidant, radical scavenger, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities, which play a crucial role in the wound healing process.
“Since the native curcumin has very poor pharmacokinetics and its retention inside the blood is negligible, we decided to develop a nanoparticle-based curcumin formulation having high pharmacokinetics so that it can easily reach different cells and tissues. We have synthesized a curcumin loaded nanoparticulate delivery system,” he said.
Moreover, curcumin stimulated the production of the growth factors involved in the wound healing process, and so curcumin also accelerated the management of wound restoration.
Production of the bandage
The patent of the technology has been registered in four countries – India, US, Europe and Australia. The technology was recently transferred to Jaipur-based Golap Pharmaceuticals Private Limited.
Director of the firm Srayance Jain signed the agreement with ILS for commercialisation of the product. The ability of curcumin to assist wound healing in case of diabetes has already been established.
Sahoo added, “The polymer we have developed is non-toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible. If we use the bandage which is very thin in the wound, it will gradually be absorbed in the wound and the wound will heal automatically. There is no need to remove the bandage.”
Curcumin treatment in diabetic wounds demonstrated an increased formation of granulation tissue, neo-vascularisation and enhanced biosynthesis of extracellular matrix proteins like collagen.
“The technology has been validated and the bandage is in an advanced stage of production. Once commercialised, it would be one-of-a-kind bandages having faster healing properties,” he added.
ILS Director Ajay Parida said, “The technology was recently transferred to Golap Pharmaceuticals Private Limited. They have set up a factory at a cost of Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 crore to begin the production. After its production, the bandage will receive approval from the drug competent authority and be available in the market in 6-7 months.”
A native of Jajpur district, Dr Sahoo had served as postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Microbiology in Japan-based Kumamoto University and US-based Nebraska Medical Centre before joining ILS in 2005.
In 2018, he made it to the list of 10 scientists from India to be featured among 4,000 researchers of the world. He was also the mind behind the indigenous technology of magnetic cell separation kit, which helps researchers separate particular types of cells for further study.