Tag Archives: wound healing

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.

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‘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.

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New Approach to Wound Healing Easy on Skin, Tough on Bacteria

Washington, D.C. — In a presentation  to the American Chemical Society meeting, Ankit Agarwal, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, described an experimental approach to wound healing that could take advantage of silver’s anti-bacterial properties, while sidestepping the damage silver can cause to cells needed for healing.

Silver is widely used to prevent bacterial contamination in wound dressings, says Agarwal, “but these dressings deliver a very large load of silver, and that can kill a lot of cells in the wound.”
Wound healing is a particular problem in diabetes, where poor blood supply that inhibits healing can require amputations, and also in burn wards. Agarwal says some burn surgeons avoid silver dressings despite their constant concern with infection.
Using a new approach, Agarwal has crafted an ultra-thin material carrying a precise dose of silver. One square inch contains just 0.4 percent of the silver that is found in the silver-treated antibacterial bandages now used in medicine.
In tests in lab dishes, the low concentration of silver killed 99.9999 percent of the bacteria but did not damage cells called fibroblasts that are needed to repair a wound.
Agarwal builds the experimental material from polyelectrolyte multilayers — a sandwich of ultra-thin polymers that adhere through electrical attraction. To make the sandwich, Agarwal alternately dips a glass plate in two solutions of oppositely charged polymers and finally adds a precise dose of silver.
“This architecture is very easily tuned to different applications,” Agarwal says, because it allows exact control of such factors as thickness, porosity and silver content. The final sandwich may range from a few nanometers to several hundred nanometers in thickness. (One nanometer is one-billionth of a meter; a human hair is about 60,000 nanometers in diameter.)
Nicholas Abbott, a professor of chemical and biological engineering who advises Agarwal, says during the past decade, “about a bazillion papers have been published on polyelectrolyte multilayers. It’s been a tremendous investment by material scientists, and that investment is now ripe to be exploited.”
Read more at HealAlerts

Stem Cell Dynamic Therapy Could Heal Wounds

It’s necessary for the skin to heal the wounds after getting injured. For the first time, scientists discovered that the changing stem cell dynamics contribute to wound healing. The main purpose of these studies was to understand how stem cells differentiate, migrate, and proliferate to repair the tissue damage after trauma.

A team from Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) started their research on stem cells. Professor of ULB, Dr. Cédric Blanpain MD/Ph.D, WELBIO investigator and the lead researcher of this study, defined the cellular and molecular mechanisms that play active roles in wound healing. The research report was first published in the Journal of Nature Communications.

The skin of a creature is just like an outer shield which protects the inner tissues and other organs from outer injuries. If somehow the outer shield gets disrupted then body activates a cascade of cellular and molecular event to repair the damage and restore skin integrity. ScienceDaily reported that minor defects in these events lead to improper repair causing acute and chronic wound disorders.

In the new study, scientists revealed that distinct stem cells populations contribute in healing the wound. Although it is not cleared yet how proliferation, differentiation, and migration get balanced by stem cell populations during the healing process. Co-author of this study Dr.Sophie Dekoninck said in a statement,“The molecular characterization of the migrating leading edge suggests that these cells are protecting the stem cells from the infection and mechanical stress allowing a harmonious healing process”.

Read more at The Science Times

One Doctor Exploring Wound Care on Earth and in Space

In laboratories all across the globe, scientists are uncovering new and exciting breakthroughs in the realm of wound healing.

For instance, a team out of Texas is blinding bacteria to prevent their spread. Meanwhile, a collective of doctors from the U.K. recently developed some intriguing new vacuum tech to treat chronic ulcers. There’s even been research into drug treatments, like how opioids may actually prevent proper wound care.

Each team has taken a different approach or tackled a unique situation or medical ailment, and that ensures a more well-rounded coverage that helps a larger pool of patients. However, few scientists have a more grand scope than Ronke Olabisi, a professor of biomedical engineering at Rutgers University.

Reaching for the stars

As the university explained in a recent press release, Olabisi is hard at work on several projects aimed at improving wound healing both on earth and during manned space missions. During space travel, especially as astronauts spend months at a time in stations, the lack of gravity has a huge impact on the human body. Muscle and bones will actually start to deteriorate, and tissues will lose much of their elasticity. Olabisi’s main goal is to study in-depth why this occurs and how to fix, and she believes she can apply much of the same knowledge to wound care on Earth.

Read more at Advanced Tissue

Medications and wound healing

Each issue, Apple Bites brings you a tool you can apply in your daily practice. Here are examples of medications that can affect wound healing.

Assessment and care planning for wound healing should include a thorough review of the individual’s current medications to identify those that may affect healing outcomes. Clinicians must then weigh the risks and benefits of continuing or discontinuing the medications. In some cases, the risk of discontinuing the medication outweighs the importance of wound healing, so the goal of the care plan should be adjusted to “maintain a wound” instead of “healing.”

Nancy Morgan is cofounder of Wound Care Education Institute in Plainfield, Illinois.

Information in Apple Bites is courtesy of the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI), © 2016.

Selected reference

Guo S, DiPietro LA. Factors affecting wound healing. J Dent Res. 2010;89(3):219-29.