Healing wounds with insulinIt's been known for some time that applying insulin to wounds can speedup healing. Now there's news (thanks to MedGadget.com) of a new approach to applying the insulin -- Nanodiamonds.
According to a 2006 article from ScienceDaily "Insulin applied topically stimulates human keratinocytes [a major part of your epidermis] causing them to profilerate and migrate into the wound tissue." It also affects microvascular endothelial cells, these line the walls of blood vessels. The can lead to improved blood flow.
The article suggests that part of the reason why people with diabetes have wounds that don't easily heal may be due to the lack of insulin.
The described nanodiamond approach provides a way to deliver insulin more easily. One challenge is that the insulin molecules connect tightly to the nanodiamonds. But by altering the pH (acidity) this binding can be reduced. The compound is promising and "could be integrated into gels, ointments, bandages or suture materials."
What are nanodiamonds? They're microscopic diamond particles that range in size from 45 nanometers to 180 nanometers. That means if you lay about 3,000,000 of them end to end they'd be an inch long. The electron microscope picture is from Nabond.com.