December 18, 2015
Healing chronic skin wounds can be difficult, particularly when they span large areas, or when healing is complicated by health problems such as a lack of mobility. A team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has worked to improve the process, creating a more effective method of regeneration through use of a new material that creates a porous scaffold, allowing wounds to heal more effectively.
A fast-acting medical device developed for emergency treatment of a gunshot or other penetrating wound on the battlefield has been cleared for civilian use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The XStat 30 is a plastic syringe that can stop severe bleeding within around 20 seconds through the injection of small sponges into a wound, and will now be available for use by the general population.
Researchers have developed a new "smart dressing" that's able to monitor patient wounds while in place, lowering the need for regular visual inspections. According to the device's creators, it's not only more convenient than standard dressings, but could also reduce costs associated with wound healing.
We've previously heard about wound dressings that kill bacteria,
but now researchers at Australia's Swinburne University of Technology are
taking a different approach. They're creating a dressing material that
attracts bacteria out from within the wound, so that the material and
the microbes can then just be pulled off and discarded.
Because they often have weakened immune systems and/or blood flow
restrictions, diabetics run a heightened risk of serious infection from
even the smallest of open wounds. That's why a team of scientists from
Egypt's Alexandria University have developed a means of getting those
wounds to heal faster – silver-impregnated dressings.
Further to the mental anguish, a lot of time in a hospital bed can bring about some agonizing physical discomfort. This is most commonly brought about by skin ulcers and bedsores, which threaten to evolve into dangerous and potentially deadly infections if left untreated. But a British research team has happened upon a technique that promises to cut the healing time of these and other chronic wounds by around a third, using simple low-intensity ultrasounds.
Hydrogels have huge potential in the field of biomedicine, but aren't without their shortcomings in their existing form. These tiny polypeptide chains are championed for their many possible applications. Indeed, in the last few years alone we've seen advances that suggest they could find use in generating new heart tissue, fighting off superbugs and the controlled release of anti-inflammatory drugs. But researchers have now developed a hydrogel that mimics the elasticity of human tissue and can be activated by exposure to light, claiming it could offer safer means of repairing wounded tissue.
A study of skin wound healing in 40 (human) volunteers has found that electrical stimulation significantly speeds up the healing process. The researchers hope to now develop and test dressings and devices that could be used in treatment of human or veterinary surgical wounds, sports injuries, and other serious skin trauma.