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Maritech® fucoidan in breakthrough brain injury research

Posted Wednesday 20 September 2017


In cutting-edge new research from RMIT University and the Australian National University, Maritech® fucoidan has been used to create a ‘hydrogel scaffold’ that allows regrowth and repair in damaged brain tissue. These findings offer new hope for treating brain injuries and damaged tissue.

Working with Marinova, the researchers combined high purity fucoidan with small proteins to create the hydrogel scaffold that matches the structure of healthy brain tissue.

Dr Richard Williams from RMIT University, explains how the research unfolded. 

“We used fragments of these proteins to form an artificial hydrogel that the body recognises as healthy tissue. We then decorated this web with the sugars found in the seaweed to create the anti-inflammatory hydrogel system.”

The research team then injected the hydrogel scaffold into a damaged brain, with remarkable results.

“The hydrogel scaffold was shown to support the wound, prevent scarring and improve healing,” Dr Williams said. “Incredibly, it had a positive effect on cells a long way from the wound.”

This research, published in Nature Scientific Reports and ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering, has potential applications in the areas of wound healing, joint and bone repair and brain injury recovery. It also holds potential benefits in a post-surgical setting.

The particular Maritech® fucoidan used in this research is derived from the seaweed species, Undaria pinnatifida, which grows wild off the coast of Tasmania, Australia.

News of this research was widely reported by consumer media and industry news publications. Click to watch TV news coverage from Australia’s National Nine News.

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