Researchers say non-toxic, bio-adhesive healing compound haspotential for humans

May 2, 2006

Atlanta--University of Georgia researchers have developed ananti-microbial treatment that adheres to the skin without beingtoxic.

Atlanta-University of Georgia researchers have developed an anti-microbial treatment that adheres to the skin without being toxic.

Though the treatment, known as Tricide, has been tried only on animals -- it was used to help heal a burned dog in an animal cruelty case and a beluga whale at the Georgia Aquarium here - the researchers envision a human application for Tricide and are seeking to patent the technology.

Brian Ritchie, M.D., a research scientist in the department of small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine (UGA), said the compound was initially developed by a now-retired UGA professor to treat burns and, later, skin lesions on fish and other aquatic animals. According to Dr. Ritchie, Tricide works by enhancing antibiotics’ effectiveness.

Combining Tricide with a bioadhesive came about as a result of a collaboration between Dr. Ritchie and a professor in the College of Pharmacy who specializes in drug delivery systems. Dr. Ritchie notes that petroleum-based ointments, commonly used in treating skin infections, can be toxic, and found that ointments made from vitamin E can keep wounds from dehydrating and promotes. When he learned that the veterinary professor was working with vitamin E in transdermal applications, the collaboration began and the bioadhesive technology was formulated.

The researchers currently are looking at a gel formulation for use as a combination cleanser and ointment for killing bacteria that causes acne.