Scientists Turn Durian Skin Into Biodegradable Bandages

Food scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have made an antibacterial gel bandage using the discarded husks of durian.

By extracting high-quality cellulose from the durian husks and combining it with glycerol – a waste by-product from the biodiesel and soap industry – NTU scientists created a soft gel, similar to silicon sheets, which can be cut into bandages of various shapes and sizes.

Durian Skin to bandage

They then added the organic molecules produced from baker’s yeast known as natural yeast phenolics, making the bandage deadly to bacteria.

“By using waste products, which are currently discarded in large quantities – durian husks and glycerol – we could turn waste into a valuable biomedical resource that can enhance the speedy recovery of wounds and to reduce chances of infections.”

Durian Skin

“With the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, the world will need multiple alternative ways to prevent infections. An effective way to protect open wounds is with antimicrobial bandages that are biocompatible and safe for prolonged use by humans. This is especially important for diabetic patients suffering from chronic wounds,” explained Prof Chen, the Michael Fam Chair Professor in Food Science and Technology at the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering.  

The team of four NTU researchers took two years to research and publish their findings and is now looking for industry partners who may be keen to take their antibacterial gel bandage to market.

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