Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have the potential to cause unpleasant complications amongst their sufferers, particularly when the disease has been present for some time or is poorly managed. These complications include eye disease, heart disease and kidney disease. One of the most common is diabetic neuropathy, a complication affecting the nerves that can lead to diabetic foot ulceration. It is estimated that approximately 15 per cent of diabetics suffer from diabetic foot ulcers, many of whom face the threat of amputation.
However, a team of experts at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a protein that has performed well in initial tests on mice. The protein was applied to mice with foot ulcers, and worked by restoring damaged blood vessels. The protein was artificially engineered and has been termed COMP-Angl.
COMP-Angl works by facilitating skin growth amongst tiny blood and lymphatic vessels, as well as boosting the overall flow of blood and increasing the body’s natural ability to heal wounds. One expert was reported as saying: “This is the first material that makes healthy vessels, and we plan to expand the application of this protein to symptoms with other blood vessel problems.”
Clinical trials on humans are expected within the year.

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