BHUBANESWAR: Even as turmeric’s antimicrobial properties are well known, scientists at the Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) have developed a curcumin sponge 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.
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 herbal medicines 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.
“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.
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.
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 bandage having faster healing properties,” he added.
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 4000 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.