It seems that the science behind the treatment of diabetes is making good headway in 2006, with important stem cell discoveries being reported in both America and the UK, and in China and India. A new study, in Korea, may have found a way to speed up impaired wound healing in diabetes sufferers.
Scientists in Korea at the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have engineered a protein that could help increase the rate of impaired wound healing amongst diabetics. One of the many complications of diabetes, slow wound healing is caused by the damage high blood sugar does to blood vessels, and can cause serious problems. The protein they have synthesised does occur naturally, and is called angiopioetin-1.
The protein was tested on mice with diabetes, who had been cut for the benefit of the experiment twelve hours previously, and it was found to significantly speed up the wound healing process by promoting new blood vessel growth. The wound was found to close much faster amongst those mice who had received the injectio, and a higher density of blood vessels were reported around the wound. When the protein was placed on the mice with saline solution, it produced similar results.
The next step for the researchers is to create a human version of the protein. The study has large implications for amputation cases caused by diabetic neuropathy.

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