The New Scientist reports on a new ‘maggot juice’ to help heal wounds:
Bandages containing fluids secreted by maggots could help accelerate the body’s healing process, research suggests.
Live maggots are sometimes applied to chronic wounds because they eat dead tissue, but leave healthy tissue alone, boosting healing. But now it has been demonstrated that the fluids produced by maggots also contain enzymes that actually accelerate tissue repair.
Armed with the new findings, researchers in the UK hope to produce wound-dressings impregnated with the active maggot components. The idea is that, as well as protecting the wound, the dressings will speed up healing without the "yuk factor" involved with using live maggots.
And, yes, this soon will be someone’s real-life marketing challenge:
A tissue-regenerating dressing incorporating the enzymes is being developed commercially by AGT Sciences in Bradford, UK, a company spun out from the university, but Britland says it will be at least another three years before this is ready to market.
The adage says that good products sell themselves, but I’m not sure about maggot juice. This will be a challenging product to create demand for. To be sure, many pharma and biotech companies have mastered turning gross ingredients into medications and treatments. I recall PETA going after a few, but I’d be surprised if they went after this one.