Mar 212011
Authors: Cameron Tafoya

A cut hurts, we all know that. Even worse, a few weeks after it heals, you have a nasty scar. This led CSU scientists to wonder: What if there was a way for your cut to heal more effectively, and minimize scaring?

Dr. Melissa Reynolds, an assistant professor of chemistry and biomedical engineering, has been awarded a $1.3 million defense grant for research to explore this very problem by creating an artificial healing aid.

This healing aid is made from either bandages or gauze that will help decrease excessive bleeding, clot formation and infection.

These aides are combined with nitric oxide, which is a naturally occurring therapeutic agent, making it safer on the human body.

“These materials can be used in doctor’s offices and hospitals or in homes, if they get burned, or if they get an injury as well,” Reynolds said.

The grant was awarded on March 1, but the research has taken place for much longer.

There have been other preliminary studies involving the materials since Reynolds got involved in 2009.

According to Reynolds, this discovery may be the solution for help with natural disasters, because these products could be dropped down by plane when the road is not accessible and then applied to the open wounds.

Kate Wold, a biomedical engineering graduate student and Dr. Vinod Damodaran, a researcher in the Chemistry Department, are just some of the people helping Reynolds undertake this project.

“We are in the stage of making the nano-fibers,” Damodaran said.

The team is a tremendously inter-disciplinary group, involving a large group of scientists, engineers and biologists coming together to make new discoveries.

“Being an engineering student, it’s really good to have the multi-discipline in the lab,” Wold said.

Reynolds and her team’s ultimate goal is to turn this into a commercial product that will be sold outside of the university.
According to Reynolds, the excitement about receiving the grant has provided the team with excitement about the grant, everyone in Reynolds group can’t help but to work on getting this product on the market.

“It’s really accelerated our research efforts to get to the final product faster,” Reynolds said.  

Staff writer Cameron Tafoya can be reached at

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