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Assessing a burn wound to know the status of healing is currently an invasive process such as biopsy which is both painful and scarring. Now scientists have developed a non-invasive technique that involves mere flash of laser light to assess healing. The method exploits a particular property of some tissue proteins – ability to re-emit light upon absorption. Such proteins, known as tissue fluorophores, have chemical compounds that can re-emit light. Collagen is one such protein that is vital in wound healing. So when laser light is flashed on tissues under examination, the amount of re-emitted light from the healing tissue directly corresponds to collagen concentration, which in turn, indicates the status of the recovery process. Read More
A pair of washable and reuseable socks with a special sensor could be key to continuously monitoring foot temperature in patients with diabetic neuropathy, according to a study in JMIR sponsored by Siren, maker of the socks. Researchers found that the socks were able to report temperature within 0.2 degrees Celcius of the reference standard, and that patients found the technology useable. “The temperature studies conducted show that the sensors used in the socks are reliable and accurate at detecting temperature and the findings matched clinical observations,” the researchers of the study wrote. “Continuous temperature monitoring is a promising approach as an early warning system for foot ulcers, Charcot foot, and reulceration.” Read More
A chemical found in birch bark helps wounds heal faster and with less scarring than ordinary creams, researchers say. Tests on a gel, which contains betulin, showed it healed burn wounds quicker in 86 per cent of patients, compared to a typical gel used for burn treatment. The extract of birch bark - used for centuries as a natural remedy - has previously been shown to help with skin wounds. The new study was led by a team at the St Andrews Centre for Plastic Surgery and Burns at the Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust. Patients that used the birch-bark gel said it was 'much better'. Picture shows the treatment of the wound over ten days. Read More
To best manage lymphedema, patients must first have an understanding of their disease, no matter what its type, according to Sherry Hite, an occupational therapy lead in the Department of Rehabilitation Services at City of Hope in Duarte, California. At the 11th annual Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer conference in San Diego, California, Hite discussed the treatment of lymphedema. Education plays a key role, she said: “Education needs to start early on and across disease groups that are [affected] by lymphedema.” There are 2 types of lymphedema: primary, which is less common and arises from developmental abnormalities of the lymphatic system, and secondary, the type seen in patients with cancer as it arises from trauma to the lymphatic system. Secondary lymphedema can be a result of surgery, radiation, cancer itself, obesity, or infection. Read More