Study Reveals that a Molecule in Human Saliva Has Potential for Wound Healing

Wound HealingCertain properties in saliva help speed up wound healing, according to University of Chile Professor Vicente Torres and his research team. The team’s research aimed to find out why wounds in the mouth heal faster and better than wounds in other parts of the body. Prior to this study, it was already known that saliva played a part in the wound healing process, though the extent of its role was unknown. The antimicrobial and antifungal protein Histatin-1 found in human saliva had been found to promote the migration of oral skin cells in lab animals.

The scientists analyzed the effects of the salivary peptide histatin-1 on angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), which is vital to the effectiveness of wound healing. The team used healthy samples of chicken embryos, human skin, and blood vessel cells.

Experiments were conducted at three levels:

  • Endothelial, or blood vessel-forming, cells in culture
  • Saliva samples obtained from healthy donors
  • Chicken embryos as animal models

The study showed that histatin-1 speeds up healing by boosting the formation of blood vessels. It also improved the contact and behavior of the migrating cells. Histatin-1 encouraged skin cell contact and spreading along with migration in the wound closure tests.

The researchers proved that salivary histatin-1 is essential for the pro-migratory effects of saliva on skin cells. They have already started using these histatins to develop materials and implants that can help with wound healing. Professor Torres said, “These findings open new alternatives to better understand the biology underlying the differences between oral and skin wound healing.” He further added, “We believe the study could help the design of better approaches to improve wound healing in tissues other than the mouth.”

Scientists and researchers are always on the lookout for more effective wound healing solutions that can help patients recover fast and get back to a normal life. For any solution to work well, accurate documentation is important. Advanced wound management software can help healthcare providers to speed up their documentation process and a good Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solution allows physicians and nurses to easily manage and track wound care progress outcomes.