Researchers pave way for new wound treatment

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A recent breakthrough could lead to more effective treatments for tenacious wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, according to a report in the journal Nature Chemistry. Researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles have discovered a way to stabilize one of the body's naturally occurring wound-healing agents, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). The growth factor loses much of its effectiveness when outside the body. But by using a polymer that resembles heparin, a complex sugar that bFGF binds to, investigators were able to keep bFGF stable in acidic environments resembling those in a wound.