A nine-member female team of marine science students from Karachi University have made bandages from fish skin to treats burns on the spot.
While giving an interview to a national channel, four of the nine-member team and the supervisor said that fish skin helps to heal burn wounds. It has been in use since 1992 but there was no existence of fish-skin bandages until the KU students’ endeavor.
Assistant Professor Dr Nazia, the project supervisor said that the fish-skin processed bandages are called Sanitatem, and can be used on small-scale burns besides topical creams.
“We started this two years back and are currently working on its shelf life. We have faced a lot of difficulties along the way, it’s a long process and our work is continuing.”
The four team members, Minaal Fatima, Iqra Mansoor, Anushae Saeed and Shahnoor Mehbood told about the difficulties they have faced while making the bandages. Fatima said, the biggest problem is the shortage of laboratories at KU to conduct research. She further added that they had issued accessing different chemicals and other materials required to proceed further.
“We had to approach other laboratories and do a lot of legwork to get access to labs. So in the future more labs should be available to make it easy for us to work on the shelf-life of the bandage.”
Talking about their innovative ideas, the members told that the fish-bandage is unique as the design methodology and end product are different. The bandage does not need to be replaced till five days, which are the minimum days to heal the wound. She further told that as the burn heals, the bandage starts to dry and prevents scarring as well.
Mehboob said this is the first such portable bandage in Pakistan specifically to heal burns.
“Our project is all about the portability of fish-skin bandages. All other bandages are for [non-burn] wounds.”
Besides the processes involved in creating the bandage, the students also culture their own fish in the lab. Mansoor said they have to take great care of the fish so that they don’t contract any disease or illness.