Milk Protein Infused Bandages Shown to Improve Wound Healing

We all know real dairy plays a significant role in a healthy lifestyle. But a new study conducted by the University of College London has found that the power of milk can also speed up wound healing.

In an experiment to assess the reputed healing benefits of casein, a protein found in cow’s milk, researchers mixed pure casein with polycaprolactone (PCL), a biodegradable polyester commonly used as a bandage material. Casein has been shown to have antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it is a widely available by-product of skimmed milk and a more economically friendly option compared to other pricier options such as silver.

Using a technique called pressurized gyration, the researchers were able to spin this mixture into bandage-like fibers from which they created ‘milk’-infused bandages. From there, the scientists tested the bandages on rats with small skin perforations. Rats from two other groups were also with one group receiving normal bandages, and the third with no bandages.

At the conclusion of the experiment, the researchers found the wounds treated with casein-infused bandages healed to 5.2% of their original size, compared to 31.1% in the normal bandage group and 45.6% in the untreated group. It was also confirmed that the casein bandages were non-toxic and that levels of immune-related molecules were much lower around the wounds treated with them.

Professor Mohan Edirisinghe, the senior author of the study, says, “All the research so far suggests that casein has wound healing potential, but at the moment we don’t really know why in any great detail. Casein has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may certainly play a part. The next step will be to understand the biological interactions taking place before we can consider clinical trials in humans.”