Three students of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) are functioning on a project to use tilapia fish skin to treat second and third degree burn injuries on humans. The students, Zamata Hamad al Jahafi, Saeed Mohammed al Rabakhi and Yousef Yaqoob al Busaidi, from the College of Science at SQU have been productive in their experiments on rats.
Speaking to Muscat Daily
, Rabakhi mentioned, “Our project is about ‘Studying the effects of tilapia fish skin in the treatment of burns’. We thought about working on this project after coming across statistics from the Khoula Hospital which show that the infection from skin burn cases touches up to 500 annually. We started work on this project in February and finished it in the end of March.”
During the course of the project, Rabakhi mentioned that the team identified collagen and protein in the skin of tilapia are identical to collagen and protein in the skin of a human physique. “We used a method called ‘Theory of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry’ to arrive at the conclusion. We used tilapia skin on rats and succeeded in treating them.”
Talking about the therapy approach, he mentioned, “We separated the skin of tilapia from the meat to extract collagen, added some medical additives to convert it to powder to treat burn injuries. There are two ways to treat the injuries. It’s either by putting the fish skin or the powder on the injured parts.”
On how the team went about pursuing the project, Rabakhi mentioned, “It was challenging initially. We did not locate any study papers on this therapy approach except in Brazil exactly where it is utilized to treat such injuries traditionally.
“Experts from the College of Science and College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences at SQU helped us to analyse the fish skin. We are currently studying on how to convert tilapia skin to powder on a mass scale and dry it to use easily.”
Rabakhi mentioned that the team will submit the project to the Ministry of Health for patent application, “We thank SQU and officials for supporting us.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily