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Indian Council of Medical Research signs MoU with NCRM For a Novel Research in
Wound Healing using Cell Therapy

30 Nov 2007; Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), an Indo-Japan joint venture institute based at Chennai and Dr. Sunita Saxena, Director Institute of Pathology, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, have signed a MoU for research to develop novel cell based therapies using polymer Hydrogel scaffolds. This research will be fully funded by ICMR, New Delhi, India and aims at developing cost effective, animal protein free solutions to wound healing in patients after scalds and severe burns. This is the first time NCRM is officially collaborating with ICMR for research in India for wound healing.

When skin is damaged due to physical, chemical or other kinds of injuries, the skin epithelial stem cells divide and expand to cover the damage, if it is minimal. But in damages of larger areas especially in burns, the regenerative capability of such mechanism is limited. Therefore it leads to loss of life or even the healing at times requires skin grafting and in some cases the healing ends up with contractures. This study which is to go for three years will look into the protective and regenerative capability of polymer based hydrogels which are offered by NCRM by testing their capability in promoting the growth of keratinocyte stem cells, formation of three dimensional skin cell cultures without any animal proteins. This polymer hydrogel technology originally developed by Prof. Mori Yuichi of Waseda University, Japan has been standardized and validated in India by the Chennai based NCRM, before this study was approved for execution and funding by the ICMR committee for research projects.

The findings are likely to yield positive results that can save life of burn victims in our country in whom a very large area of burns increases the percentage of mortality. The study will be headed by Dr Lakshman Kumar Yerneni, Senior Research Officer, Institute of pathology, ICMR, New Delhi as the principal investigator.

*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started on an Indo-Japan collaboration now has spreaded further with global alliances
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