Dr. Boonlom explained that chitin-chitosan, the materials extracted from shrimp and crab shells or squid pens, can be developed into a wound dressing as it has an ability to selectively absorb blood and lymph, thus healing the wound quickly.
The wound dressing has been clinically tested via the cooperation of Dr. Pairoj Surattanavanich, Ang Thong Hospital and the Associate Professor Dr. Apichai Angsaphan, Plastic Surgery, Chulalongkorn Hospital. It was also used with a number of patients by doing a skin graft. The process is a transplantation using the healthy skin from a concealed area, called the donor site, to cover a wound in the visible area, called the graft site, such as applying the skin in the patient’s hip to cover the wound on his or her arm.
In addition, Dr. Boonlom has developed a “Silicone Gel Pad” as silicone is tough, flexible and can heal scars efficiently. The pad is a very soft material which can help strengthen the skin and make the new skin develop properly. The Silicone Gel Pad has been tested in the collaboration with Wacoal Thailand Co., Ltd. by using it as a medical material to recover more than 400 patients who suffered from burns and scalds. Testing results indicated that healing with Silicone Gel Pad can make patients feel more comfortable with wounds and have better quality of life as the scars were healed properly. The Silicone Gel Pad is inexpensive, so it would be affordable for the masses.
Her eyes were sparkling with pride when talking about this successful research results. Work experience has taught her to be patient and perseverant and she also felt grateful to her colleagues, especially her mentor, Dr. Wanida Janvikul. She said that if the research outputs are commercialized, then more patients will receive more effective treatments.
Currently, she is working on scaffold for tissue engineering. If this research is successful, it will be able to cultivate the patient’s cells and put the healthy ones back onto their bodies to repair the damaged tissues, effectively replacing the old deteriorated organ with the new one.
Dr. Boonlom is determined to be a good researcher. Her goal is to continue working with her research team to develop new techniques and deliver useful research results that will cure and restore patients’ health, that is to enhance the quality of their lives.
Dr. Boonlom Thavornyutikarn:
Graduated PhD. from Monach University Australia
At present, works as a researcher of Biological Materials and Equipment Research Team at the National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC)