top of page
  • Salonee Salaskar

The Secret of Cotton Candy

Carnival's main delicacy is the sugary spindly spun sugar strands, popularly known as cotton candy. Due to this thousands of people are attracted to eat this carnival treat. However, did anyone ever think that this carnival treat would be helpful for medical purposes? Discovered in the 18th century when only the wealthy families were able to afford and have cotton candy due to the immensely high cost of sugar during that period. Later when the cost of sugar was reduced, everyone enjoyed eating the delicious delicacy. In the 20th century, it was named cotton candy and was sold and enjoyed by everyone around the world.

We know that a substance like sugar is unhealthy for everyone's health as consuming it in large proportions can cause heart disease, diabetes, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and obesity. It is surprising how despite leading to hazardous disorders like diabetes and heart diseases, it still is applicable for medical purposes? However, researchers have found that filaments of spun sugar are favourable for medical purposes such as nerve repair. Here the spun sugar strand can be transplanted as a nerve and help in nerve regeneration. Many people would wonder how such a transplant would be possible as both the nerve and the spun sugar strand have different characteristics.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed methods to build a scaffold of small synthetic tubes that can serve as conduits to regenerate nerves that serve like blood vessels that were damaged. In this, the sugar filaments have to be coated with corn base degradable polymer after which the sugar gets dissolved completely in water and bundles of hollow polymer tubes that mimic those found in nerves are formed. The scaffold can be helpful to promote nerve regeneration by acting as a bridge placed between the ends of severed nerves. The technique for creating the scaffolds is relatively simple, affordable, and does not require elaborate laboratory equipment. In this way, the scaffold made can be used in nerve regeneration.

Researchers are concentrating on the peripheral nerves which are found in the limbs and throughout the body. This method was not applicable for the peripheral nerves found in the spinal cord since nerve regeneration is complex in those regions. About 800,000 peripheral nerve injuries are reported annually in the United States, with about 50,000 requiring surgery. Spun sugar method is also effective for repairing blood vessels. This will become an alternative to surgical treatment.

Finally, a better and a different way of treatment is found and filled in the medical tools. It's a simple method where a nerve that is an autograft from a leg or any part of the body is used to repair the injured nerves. Biomedical and chemical engineers are now using and researching more about this cotton candy method. The invention of Cotton candy is a milestone in culinary technology and will be more effective in the medical field.

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page