This method of combating infections could help millions of patients who deal with drug-resistant bacteria.
For 2016 alone, the American Burn Association estimated that 486,000 people underwent treatment. As if burns weren’t already debilitating enough, many of these same people then have to deal with secondary infections that can prove especially complicated to treat.
In fact, per a report from the National Institutes of Health, infection is the primary cause for 75 percent of all cases in which a person experiences burns over at least 40 percent of their body. As Medscape pointed out, there are several ways to treat burn infections – specialized vaccines, antibacterial ointments, etc. – but they’re not always effective.
Now, though, there is new hope courtesy of a team from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
This breakthrough could help doctors develop safe and effective treatments for injuries like ulcers.
In the last several months, there have been a number of important breakthroughs in skin grafts and other substitutions. Doctors from Stanford University created new grafts capable of treating a rare skin condition called epidermolysis bulls. Around the same time, researchers from the American Burn Association announced an extra durable skin substitution for children with severe burns. Meanwhile, in California, a team developed liquid grafts that are easy to apply and provide ample protection to wounds.
Yet despite all these achievements, many doctors would admit they’re not totally aware of how these grafts works or the mechanisms that led to effective wound healing. Today, courtesy of a new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, we may have new insight into how skin grafts aid wound care.
The team behind this exciting new breakthrough represents the Regenerative Medicine Research Program at the University of Miami. To fully explore the role of skin grafts on facilitating the healing process of ulcers and other injuries, the researchers spent months studying Apligraf.
Developed by a separate group of researchers from Boston, Apligraf is actually what’s described as a bilayered living cellular construct. The graft contains two layers, one of keratinocytes and another of fibroblasts. When applied to non-healing wounds, Apligraf provides the collagen and proteins necessary for proper wound healing. Still, that doesn’t fully answer how wounds that haven’t healed for months at a time suddenly heal within just a few weeks.
So, the Miami team performed biopsies on a serious of wounds over a month and applied Apligraf while still profiling the wound site. Eventually, that gave them understanding of the ulcer at a genetic level, which helped to see how the wounds had healed. Effectively, substitutions like Apligraf work by actually making the body believe that the ulcers are “normal” wounds and should be healed accordingly.
In an accompanying press release, lead author Marjana Tomic-Canic explained the importance of such a fundamental undertaking.
“This is the first time this type of detailed gene expression analysis has been conducted to evaluate the response to a wound healing modality,” she said. “Our findings show that Apligraf can shift the gene expression profile of a chronic, non-healing ulcer to resemble a profile similar to that of an acute, healing wound. This is important as we now can use this as a guiding tool to understand healing of a chronic wound and mechanisms by which therapies can work.”
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The patented system delivers a solution of stem cells to quickly and efficiently heal the most intense burns.
In recent months, there have been a number of exciting breakthroughs in treating moderate to severe burns, injuries which affect millions of people each year.
In spring 2016, a team from Switzerland unveiled new bandages to treat the most severe burns, with man-made molecules delivering drugs directly into the wound site. More recently, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center developed a technique to fight burn infection by blinding the bacterium with special chemicals.
Today, another breakthrough arrives courtesy of a research team from the University of Pittsburgh, and it’s a novel approach to healing burns quickly and effectively.
The neural tourniquet is a groundbreaking way to treat injuries and bleeding disorders using advanced technology.
According to the World Health organization, upwards of 5.8 million people worldwide die as a result of bodily injuries every year. A large percentage of those are due to blood loss, which is a continuing challenge for doctors to treat more effectively to save lives.
This process – called exsanguination – is also challenging in non-emergency settings, as bleeding disorders affect thousands of Americans, according to the Hemophilia Federation of America. In fact, hemophilia alone affects 20,000 American men.
Now, there may be new hope to deal with bleeding related injuries courtesy of a promising new device from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
Pain management can often be about how you process your thoughts and feelings.
In spring 2015, the National Institutes for Health released a study looking at the issue of chronic pain in America. In all, at least 11 percent of U.S. adults live with this ongoing pain, which stems from a number of ailments and medical conditions. That includes at least some portion of the 6.5 million Americans who cope with chronic wounds (per figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). This pain can range from a mild annoyance to something profoundly debilitating.