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November 11th, 2005

Spin a little yarn

A patient with third-degree burns is rushed to hospital. Moments later, an absorbable dressing — soft and silky as a cobweb — is spun directly on to his wound. Immediately sealing the raw area from the air, it protects the patient from bacterial infection and zaps stray germs with built-in antibiotics.

But the dressing has only just begun to do its work. It now acts as a tissue scaffold on which new, healthy tissue begins to grow, encouraged by growth hormones released slowly from the tiny fibres that make up the dressing.


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