Results of a recent study published by surgeons from New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, as well as biomedical engineers at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York show that certain compounds in sunless tanning spray can help to heal wounds after surgery.
According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a sticky gel made with polyethylene glycol and polycarbonate of dihydroxyacetone (MPEG-pDHA) can help to seal up wounds after surgery.
Many types of surgery, including plastic and cosmetic procedures, leave a hollow space that fills up with seroma fluid, and must be drained by a temporary implanted drain. This is an unavoidable side effect of surgery and can be unpleasant. One of the effects is a deep wound that can take several weeks to heal completely. The MPEG-pDHA gel can be used in several types of reconstructive surgeries to prevent seroma formation.
According to Dr. Jason Spector, co-author of the study and plastic surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, the new substance works as a glue to fill up the hole left behind and actually prevents seroma buildup.
DHA contains compounds called amines that stick to the skin and can act as a powerful glue to hold the skin tissues together. It is naturally produced by the body, and can be metabolized and safely removed by the body over time.
Dr. David Putnam, senior author of the study and biomedical engineer from Cornell University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is working on creating safe, synthetic compounds that include DHA. The engineers are able to bind the monomers together to form a polymer, and can then inject the polymer gel through a syringe. The gel form of this substance can be used as an “internal Band-Aid”, and can significantly lower seroma formation.