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Light-inducible antimiRs could improve wound healing in diabetic patients

MicroRNAs are interesting target structures for new therapeutic agents. They can be blocked through synthetic antimiRs. However, to date it was not possible to use these only locally. Researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have now successfully achieved this in the treatment of impaired wound healing with the help of light-inducible antimiRs.

Read more at News-Medical.net.

Necrotizing Fasciitis: Pearls & Pitfalls

*Figure 1: CT scan demonstrating fluid and gas in the thigh

Necrotizing soft tissue infections (NSTI) include necrotizing forms of cellulitis, fasciitis, and myositis. NSTI’s are rare but deadly deep soft tissue infections associated with tissue destruction, systemic toxicity, and high morbidity and mortality.

Read more at emDOCs.net.

Using fat to help wounds heal without scars

Doctors have found a way to manipulate wounds ti gear as regenerated skin rather than scare tissue. The method involves transforming the most common type of cells found in wounds into fat cells — something that was previously thought to be impossible in humans.

Read more at Science Daily.

Severe Burn Victims May Soon Be Able to Regrow Hair-Bearing Skin

The ability for humans to regrow burnt skin after serious burns has been one of the ultimate goals of research scientists for many years. We may be getting closer as USA-based biotech company Polarity TE, Inc announced they had “regenerated full-thickness, organized skin and hair follicles in third- degree burn wounds” in pigs.

Read more at Interesting Engineering.

Wound-healing molecule found in parasitic worm could help prevent amputations

A substance found in parasitic worms’ spit might help prevent thousands of amputations a year, scientists in north Queensland have said.

James Cook University researchers in Cairns are harnessing the molecule produced by a Thai liver parasite that can “supercharge” the healing of wounds.

Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine parasitologist Michael Smout said non-healing wounds were of particular concern for diabetics and smokers.

Dr Smout said the parasite used the molecule to keep its host healthy and prolong its own life.

“It’ll live for a decade or two, and it’s munching around your liver, and zipping up the wounds as it goes,” he said.

Read more.

Smart bandage uses nanosensors to track how a wound is healing

Bandages are intended to keep a dressing secure and clean in order to reduce healing time and infection rate. However, they may be about to get a new use-case, courtesy of a project from the United Kingdom’s Swansea University Institute of Life Science.

What researchers there have been working on is a new smart bandage capable of tracking how a wound is healing and sending that data back to doctors, via 5G technology. To do this it would employ tiny “nanosensors” able to fit comfortably within the fabric of regular bandages.

The resulting smart bandage would allow doctors and caregivers to know exactly at which stage in the recovery process a wound is, thereby allowing them to tailor their treatment more accurately for the patient.

Read more here.

‘Miracle’ stem cell treatment heals burns without scarring

Pennsylvania state trooper Matt Uram was talking with his wife at a July Fourth party in 2009 when a misjudged spray of gasoline burst through a nearby bonfire and set him alight. Flames covered the entire right side of his body, and after he fell to the ground to smother them, his wife beat his head with her bare hands to put out his burning hair. It was only on the way to the ER, as the shock and adrenaline began to wear off, that the pain set in. “It was intense,” he says. “If you can imagine what pins and needles feel like, then replace those needles with matches.”

From the hospital, Uram was transferred to the Mercy Burn Center in Pittsburgh, where doctors removed all of the burned skin and dressed his wounds. It was on the border between a second- and third-degree burn, and he was told to prepare for months of pain and permanent disfigurement. Not long after this assessment, however, a doctor asked Uram if he would be willing to take part in an experimental trial of a new device.

The treatment, developed by German researcher Dr. Jörg Gerlach, was the world’s first to use a patient’s stem cells to directly heal the skin. If successful, the device would mend Uram’s wounds using his body’s ability to regenerate fully functioning skin. Uram agreed to the procedure without hesitation.

Five days after the accident, surgeons removed a small section of undamaged skin from Uram’s right thigh—about the size of a postage stamp—and used it to create a liquid suspension of his stem cells that was sprayed in a fine mist onto the damaged skin. Three days later, when it was time to remove the bandages and re-dress the wounds, his doctor was amazed by what he saw. The burns were almost completely healed, and any risk of infection or scarring was gone.

Read more here

How to benefit from electrical stimulation for the treatment of chronic wounds

One of the most amazing things about the human body is its ability to repair itself. Lacerations, punctures, abrasions all heal with little or no care. Chronic wounds, those that persist day after day, are a small subset of wounds but they compose a troublesome minority. They include, but are not limited to, diabetic foot ulcers (DFU), venous leg ulcers (VLU), and pressure ulcers (colloquially known as bedsores). These represent the body’s failure to fix itself.

Approximately 6.5 million Americans are affected by chronic wounds. Because of certain medical trends (aging populations, increased occurrence of diabetes, the rise in obesity), chronic wounds are becoming more common, occurrences increasing at around 8% per year. The US spends $25 billion annually treating these wounds, which are the most expensive complication following surgery. Wounds are a major source of bacteria that drive infection rates at hospitals.

Initial treatment of a chronic wound involves regular cleaning and covering the damaged area with wound dressings and bandages. In many instances, the physician will debride the dead or inflamed tissue, removing it by various methods ranging from plucking it away with tweezers to introducing maggots to the wound where they consume the damaged tissues.

However, some wounds still fail to heal. These ulcers require advanced therapies. These include:

  • Electrical stimulation
  • Negative pressure
  • Hyperbaric oxygen
  • Growth factors
  • Skin substitutes
  • Stem cells

Nursing home healthcare professionals will select the specific treatment best suited for their patients. A new treatment option using electrical stimulation, the Bioelectrical Signal Therapy (BST) Device from E-QURE may soon present a very cost and time-effective solution.

Read more of the article at McKnight’s