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Healing

The color-changing, heat-sensitive fiber researchers plan to weave into bandages (Image: L...

Researchers have developed a fiber that changes color in response to temperature with the aim of creating a smart bandage that can indicate the state of underlying wounds and warn of infection. With the ability to show temperature changes of less than 0.5 of a degree Celsius, the smart bandage would allow for easier and faster identification of healing problems that are typically accompanied by an increase or decrease in local temperature, such as infection or interruptions to blood supply.  Read More

DermaFuse, a glass nanofiber material that looks like cotton candy, has been shown to spee...

Many diabetics suffer from a condition known as venous stasis, which can result in wounds on their extremities that remain unhealed for up to several years – if infection sets in, amputation of the limb is sometimes even necessary. Such wounds can sometimes be treated with vacuum-assisted systems, but the equipment required is expensive, and must be carried by the patient at all times. In clinical trials conducted last year, however, human venous stasis wounds were quickly and thoroughly healed with an inexpensive new glass nanofiber material, that looks like cotton candy.  Read More

Biodegradable nanofiber microspheres show promise as a means of transporting cells to cart...

Cartilage wounds can be very difficult to treat. While they may eventually heal on their own, the resulting tissue often won't take the same form – or allow for the same function – as the original. Cartilage injuries are often treated with a process known as ACI (autologous chondrocyte implantation), in which a patient's own cells are injected at the wound site to form new tissue. The procedure doesn't always work, as the cells are just injected loosely, with no carrier to transport them or help them get established. Now, however, a scientist from the University of Michigan has developed a technique in which cells are delivered to wounds via injectable nanofiber spheres, and the results are said to be very promising.  Read More

Dr. Yaakov Nahmias of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is one of the scientists who deve...

Chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers and burns, can be very difficult to heal. This can result in pain, infection, or worse. Proteins known as growth factors have been shown to help such wounds heal, although purifying these proteins can be pricey, and they don’t last very long once applied to a wound. There is now hope, however, in a nanometer-sized drug that its creators are describing as “robotic.”  Read More

The new dressing material indicates infection by turning purple (Image: Fraunhofer EMFT)

Wounding yourself can be bad enough, but having to regularly remove the dressing to check for infection can be painful and can also compound things by exposing the wound and giving germs the chance to enter. Now researchers have developed a new material for dressings and plaster that changes color if an infection arises, making it possible to check wounds without changing the dressing.  Read More

A Resobone patch on a model skull

People may joke about someone having a steel plate in their head, but in the case of punctures to the skull, that often ends up actually being the case - the hole in the bone is plugged with a permanent titanium-based patch. Researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, however, have just announced the development of biodegradable patches that stimulate the skull into healing itself. As the bone grows back in, the patches disappear.  Read More

The University of Granada's fibrin-agarose artificial skin

Scientists at Spain’s University of Granada have created artificial skin with the resistance, firmness and elasticity of real skin. It is the first time artificial skin has been created from fibrin-agarose biomaterial. Fibrin is a protein involved in the clotting of the blood, while agarose is a sugar obtained from seaweed, commonly used to create gels in laboratories. The new material could be used in the treatment of skin problems, and could also replace test animals in dermatological labs.  Read More

Danielle Zurovcik SM '07 demonstrates how to use the negative pressure pump to seal an arm...

For some reason, and nobody knows exactly why, the healing process for open wounds can be sped up by applying suction to them under a tightly-sealed bandage. The negative pressure this creates has been benefiting patients for decades but because mechanical pumps are expensive and they need a constant electricity supply the technology is not readily available, often where it is needed most – in the developing world. A newly developed basic negative pressure pump that doesn’t require electricity, is cheap to manufacture, lightweight to transport and can be left in place for days could change that.  Read More

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) and other drug-resistant bacteria could...

Low temperature plasma is currently used for the sterilization of surgical instruments. This is because plasma works at the atomic level and is able to reach all surfaces, even the interior of hollow needle ends. Its ability to disinfect is due to the generation of biologically active bactericidal agents, such as free radicals and UV light, which can be delivered to specific locations. Research into how and why these biologically active agents are generated has led to the construction of two prototype devices: one for the efficient disinfection of healthy skin in hospitals and public spaces where bacteria can pose a lethal threat; and another to treat infested chronic wounds.  Read More

Composite drug-releasing fibers that can be used as dissolvable wound dressings

In today’s environment of advanced medical treatments where high success rates are achieved in amazingly delicate operations that until recently weren’t thought possible, a staggering 70 percent of people with severe burns still die from related infections. It is hoped that a revolutionary new wound dressing developed at Tel Aviv University (TAU) could cut that number dramatically.  Read More

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