OSU studies algae for burn wounds

August 3, 2011

The Department of Defense has awarded a $1.4 million grant to scientists from The Ohio State University College of Medicine for wound treatment research.

Columbus, Ohio - The Department of Defense has awarded a $1.4 million grant to scientists from The Ohio State University College of Medicine for wound treatment research.

Recipients of a two-year grant are Chandan Sen, Ph.D., professor and vice chairman for research in Ohio State’s Department of Surgery, and other researchers from the university’s Comprehensive Wound Care Center and the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, according to a College of Medicine statement. Investigators will study the benefits of using brown algae extracted from seaweed and giant kelp to treat burn wounds.

The Ohio State researchers will team with others to analyze treatment options in hopes of disrupting biofilm formation, and/or devise a strategy to prevent re-formation of biofilms over burn wounds. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause biofilms to form over burn wounds, inhibiting the healing process.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, biofilms are linked to 60 percent of all chronic infections in the United States and pose a significant threat to soldiers who suffer burn wounds.

Dr. Sen is quoted in the statement as saying, “New treatments with topical agents that inhibit biofilm formation or promote their detachment and reduce wound infections could have a tremendous impact not only for military medicine but also for civilian hospitals, woundcare centers and trauma units worldwide.”