How Shrimp Shells Can Help Heal Wounds

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If you need one more reason to love shrimp (you don’t), here the shells come, ready to help our wounds shine just a little bit faster.

I think even Bubba Gump would have to add something to his list of things that make shrimp amazing for this, don’t you?

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We’ve known for awhile that the shells of crustaceans have antimicrobial properties, but recently, some scientists with something to prove went and started incorporating chitin – the magic ingredient – into standard hydrogel bandages.

Hydrogel dressings are great for cooling wounds, and are also popular choices because they conform to any body part.

Now, they’ve been improved by chitosan (made from the chitin), which includes a sugar known for its antibacterial and biodegradable properties, in addition to helping staunch active bleeding.

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The initial findings of the researchers out of Poland’s Lodz University of Technology indicate that the inclusion of the chitosan could be very beneficial to wound recovery, as they wrote in their study.

“The preliminary microbiological investigations showed that the growth of model Gram-positive bacteria was hindered in the presence of hydrogel compromising chitosan dissolved in lactic acid, as compared to regular hydrogel dressing.”

This sort of treatment would be applicable to most wounds, which are easily closed and kept clean with a simple Band-Aid, but larger cuts and abrasions are more susceptible to infection, and are still terrible common.

The extra boost could be especially beneficial as we see more and more fungi, bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are resistant to traditional antibiotic treatments.

The WHO currently estimates that infections that fall under that category could kill 10 million people a year by 2050.

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Chitosan is definitely a hot property right now, which is awesome for accident-prone humans – scientists even think it could help with bone regeneration in the future.

Not so much for the crustaceans, but I suppose by now they’re used to it.