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Featured Articles

May 2, 2019

Porcupine Barbs For Better Wound Healing

At first, the idea of using porcupine quills to patch up wounds sounds torturous. But, taking inspiration from the spiky rodent, researchers have begun to work on a new type of surgical staple that may be less damaging — and less painful — than current staples. Worldwide, surgeons perform more than 4 million operations annually, usually using sutures and staples to close wounds. Yet these traditional tools designed to aid healing can create their own problems. "We've been using sutures and staples for decades, and they've been incredibly useful," says Jeff Karp, a bioengineer at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "But there are challenges in terms of placing them for minimally invasive procedures." Read More

3D Printing Grows Up, Heals Wounds by Printing Skin

Scientists have created a mobile bioprinter that when filled with a patient's cells, prints skin directly into a wound. We've been writing about 3D printing for what seems like forever. From its sustainable benefits to its ability to spit out $4000 tiny homes and grand architectural statements alike. Not to mention entire colonies on Mars. But now additive manufacturing has crept into a new realm with the first-ever mobile bioprinter; it doesn't layer plastic into design shapes, but rather, prints skin onto wounds. It's not the first time that 3D printing has been used in medicine – they've used it to create organs and vessels and limbs. But the practicality and efficacy of a mobile skin printer surely seems like it could come in handy. Read More

Suture Spacing Yields Similar Cosmetic Outcomes During Linear Wound Closures

Researchers reported no statistically significant difference in wound cosmesis or total complications between running cutaneous sutures spaced 2 mm or 5 mm apart among patients who underwent Mohs procedures or surgical excision on the head or neck. “There appears to be significant variation among surgeons regarding the spacing between sutures,” Lindsay R. Sklar, MD, of the department of dermatology at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, and colleagues wrote. “Some prefer closely spaced sutures, believing they result in better wound edge apposition and eversion and less potential edge misalignment. Read More

Microbiomes of Diabetic Foot Ulcers are Associated With Clinical Outcomes

New research suggests that the microbial communities associated with chronic wounds common in diabetic patients affect whether those wounds heal or lead to amputations. Work led by University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology Lindsay Kalan and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania found that particular strains of the common pathogen Staphylococcus aureus exclusively infected diabetic foot ulcers that never healed, indicating these strains may delay healing. Read More