Different species of bamboo exhibit some extraordinary qualities. Unfortunately, accurate, scientifically rigorous and quantified information is rare, and where available tends to focus solely on a handful of species. So we at EcoPlanet Laboratories are always excited when new bamboo based solutions are released, along with valid R&D to back up the claims.
Much of the research going on around various bamboo species is due to the fast growth of the plant and its ability to be a renewable source of biomaterials, if harvested sustainably. However, an ever increasing percentage of the world's bamboo forests currently suffer from over harvesting and degradation. As such, as more and more innovative products are developed that rely on bamboo fiber, bamboo leaves and bamboo water as a raw resource, it is critical that such innovations go hand in hand with the development of a sustainable, certified bamboo feedstock. Our parent company, EcoPlanet Bamboo has sustainable plantations currently targeting a range of bamboo species in the Guadua, Dendrocalamus and Bambusa genus' with additional bamboo reforestation and restoration projects underway.
This article was first released in Indian Express, and the original article can be accessed here.
New wound-dressing material made from bamboo plants
Scientists have developed a novel compound made of bamboo cellulose and silver nanoparticles that can better treat skin injuries, an advance which may lead to films and ointments for wound-healing dressing materials with antibacterial properties. Current wound-dressing materials have drawbacks such as foul smell, low porosity and poor-healing capacity. Some are even toxic to biological cells.
“An effective wound healing or a dressing material is needed that can cater moist environment to wound, prevent microbial infection and can be readily removed from the wound site without causing much pain,” Sudesh Kumar, a scientist at Centre of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing in Punjab said.
Researchers from the CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology in Himachal Pradesh and Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research in New Delhi synthesised nanobiocomposites by inserting silver nanoparticles into the matrix of cellulose nanocrystals isolated from two species of bamboo leaves.
Cellulose is major component of plant cell wall. Different plants have different shape and size and this could be one of the reason for the different characteristics. Bamboo was chosen for the research as it grows faster and has longest internode segment – allowing scientists to isolate appropriate-sized cellulose nanocrystals. After overnight incubation with infectious bacteria, the nanocomposites showed strong antibacterial activities, researchers said. The nanocomposites inhibited the growth of the bacteria by releasing silver nanoparticles which stuck to the cell membrane and eventually ruptured the bacterial cells. “Among biomedical applications, wound repair has been a realm of extensive research over a past few decades. Plants are the natural largest source of cellulose, but are largely unexplored in such biomedical applications,” said Kumar.
Ointment and films made from the nanocomposites completely healed skin wounds in mice. The composite kept the wound site moist and stimulated the activities of certain enzymes, allowing the regeneration of skin cells.
The nanocomposites induced the growth of collagen fibres and stopped the proliferation of specific immune cells that trigger inflammation and delay wound healing. After two weeks, presence of few hair follicles in the mice skin wounds indicated completion of tissue repair.
“So far the developed nanocomposite has shown promising result against acute wound healing. For other kind of wound healing experiments are undergoing,” said Kumar. The research was published in the journal Carbohydrate Polymers.