London: British scientists have claimed to develop a gel that may heal a wound faster and reduce scarring.

The gel developed by Paul Martin and other scientists at the University of Bristol works by suppressing a key gene - one of the basic physical and functional units of heredity - boosting blood supply and altering the way new tissue is laid down.

The first stage of healing involves an inflammatory response, stimulating white blood cells to migrate to the site of injury, and kill off potentially disease-causing microbes or smallest living things.

White blood cells are immune system cells defending the body against both infectious disease and external material.

The same white cells guide the production of layers of a fibrous substance called collagen which helps the wound heal, but because they are not laid down in the same way as a tissue when it is first created, they stand out from the surrounding tissue and result in scarring.

It may help not just surface injuries, but also people who suffer internal organ tissue damage through illness or abdominal surgery, the scientists say, the online edition of BBC News reported.

While it is most obvious on the skin, it can also occur in many other tissues in the body, where it can have serious consequences.

For instance, scarring of the liver following alcohol-induced damage can be fatal, and scars caused by abdominal surgery can often lead to major complications.

The scientists discovered that a single gene called osteopontin plays a key role in controlling this process - and developed a gel that suppresses this action.

They found that once the gel was applied, the speed of regeneration of blood vessels around the wound, and the rate of tissue reconstruction were both accelerated.

In addition, deposition of collagen layers was more controlled - resulting in less scarring. The scientists have reported their findings in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. IANS