Muscat — Marking another feather in its proverbial cap, a member of the Zubair Enterprises Development Centre (Zubair EDC), the SME empowerment initiative of The Zubair Corporation, Zaher bin Salem Al Alawi, has developed diabetic wound stickers as part of his master’s studies. Zaher, an employee of the Environment Authority of Oman, has utilised brown and red algae to accelerate the healing of diabetic wounds, presenting promising results that mark a significant advancement in medical treatment for diabetics.

The initial phase of this project demonstrated the potential of polyphenol-rich extracts from Saccharina Latissima and Alaria Esculenta Algae to enhance the proliferation and migration of human skin cells. This enhancement is crucial for patients experiencing delayed wound healing, especially diabetics. The findings of Zaher's research have been published by Coventry University and are slated for publication in a scientific journal.

Ali Shaker, Acting Director of the Zubair EDC, expressed his enthusiasm for Zaher's project, Tahlub. He said, "We are thrilled with the research results published by Coventry University. Our centre is working closely with Zaher to transform this innovation into a commercial product that will benefit government and private hospitals across the Sultanate. We are preparing a feasibility study and implementation plans in collaboration with our strategic partners, aiming to attract attention and support from relevant authorities. This project aligns with the Sultanate’s Vision 2040 goals, representing a significant step forward for innovative healthcare solutions."

Zaher Al Alawi highlighted the motivation behind his invention, stating, "This product addresses the health challenges faced by diabetics and other patients with delayed wound healing, including the elderly. Diabetics' impaired ability to heal naturally requires specialised care, as their wounds heal slowly due to complex processes such as inflammation, cell proliferation, matrix deposition, and tissue remodelling. Current treatments rely on topical dressings to create a moist environment for healing. Our sustainable dressings made from Oman's native brown algae can promote rapid, cost-effective healing, especially for diabetic patients."

This innovative solution from the Zubair EDC exemplifies the centre’s dedication to fostering groundbreaking ideas and contributing to the Sultanate's efforts in achieving sustainable development and healthcare excellence.

Established in 2013, Zubair EDC highlights the important role of enterprise development in an increasingly diversified economy. The centre provides and inspiring, supportive and professional environment for young Omani entrepreneurs and enterprises of all sizes to accelerate sustainable businesses.