Gel-based Effective Treatment for Cleft Palate in Babies



Scientists from Oxford have made advancement with their innovatory gel capable of healing cleft palate. This novel discovery could proffer hope to scores of infants suffering from the misery of cleft palate.

Nearly one thousand infants are born yearly with cleft palate and lip conditions making it the more prevalent birth anomaly in Britain.

cleft palateThese birth anomalies could be rectified via surgical procedure; however those most acutely affected could endure longstanding issues with their appearance and language which could last for several years.

Oxford investigator David Bucknail was optimistic that their gel was considerably better as compared to any of the presently obtainable treatments.

The gel appears to function in analogous manner as that employed in soft contact eye lenses. The gel is observed to gradually mop up water and swell or expand to ten folds its initial size.

Tests were conducted at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Oxfordshire employing a two hundred million pound super-microscope for ensuring the gel’s make-up was correct.

The investigators are intent on inserting small-sized discus structures of the gel underneath the skin in close proximity to the cleft.

Once the insertion is complete, these discs would then swell up as they sop up water from the body and growth of new-fangled skin takes place over them.

Removal of these discs is then done about 6 to 8 weeks afterwards and the freshly grown skin is then employed for stitching up the cleft.

Oxford University investigators, the Georgia Inst. of Technology and John Radfcliffe Hospital in the United States are hopeful that this gel method would be widely employed in the subsequent three years.

Cleft lip and palate (often dubbed harelip) could develop simultaneously and are variants of a form of clefting inborn anomaly occurring due to irregular facial development during pregnancy.

Cleft has been noted to occur on other facial parts like the eye, ear, cheek, forehead and nose and even rarer form known as Tessier cleft.

Although treatment of cleft lips or palates is done successfully employing surgery soon following delivery of child or in early infancy, the gel technique has appeared to make surgery unnecessary.

Causes of cleft could be both genetic and environmental. Environmental influences could be maternal exposure to alcohol, cigarettes, illicit drugs, anticonvulsant medications, diet, lead exposure, nitrate compounds, pesticide exposure, and retinoid – member of vitamin A unit or organic solvents.

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  1. cld says:

    I am so glad that science is advancing and they continue finding new ways for Cleft Palate Repair . This condition occurs more frequently than most people realize and the ability to correct it at an early age is important to the child’s ability to live a regular life. Hopefully this will be successful and children born with cleft palates will start receiving this treatment as an alternative to surgical procedures.

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