Breast augmentation surgery is not typically associated with complications. However, there is always a risk for capsular contracture in breast augmentation procedures. Following the breast augmentation procedure, scar tissue will naturally form around the breast implant. Capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue tightens and shrinks around the breast implant. Certain women that have capsular contracture must undergo revision breast surgery to remove excess scar tissue and replace the breast implant. The risk of capsular contracture is quite low and a recent scientific discovery has demonstrated the risk may be further reduced for silicone breast implant patients. A synthetic peptide, known as ACT1 peptide, may accelerate wound healing and reduce the rate of capsular contracture in silicone breast augmentation patients.
Synthetic peptides consist of molecules that are composed of amino acid chains. South Carolina researchers implanted synthetic peptides that were wrapped around silicone disks in rats. The tissue surrounding the implant was removed for evaluation over a thirty day period. The results of the research demonstrated that treatment with the ACT 1 peptide resulted in the reduction of type 1 collagen and consequently, a reduction in the risk of capsular contracture. The results also demonstrated that wound healing was accelerated in this process. Though safety and effectiveness of ACT 1 treatment for humans must be further evaluated, the results of the research were significant. Research results were published in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 300,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in 2008 and close to 50% were silicone breast implants cases.
Peptide Science Expands
Synthetic peptides have been evaluated for use in the treatment of infection and disease as well. Dating back to 2001, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California had used synthesized cyclic peptides in mice to fight a deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which requires 2 million people annually to be hospitalized. The researchers had identified that there are over 200 natural peptides with anti-microbiological qualities in plants and animals that may be used as a substitute for traditional antibiotic treatment. The researchers reengineered the peptides to create more of the rare D-amino acids and assembled six or eight-member ring structures. In the end, the peptides were able to penetrate the wall of the bacterial cell to kill the infection. The results of the study were published in Nature magazine. Synthetic peptides offer an appealing prospect for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions and diseases.