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Featured Articles

  • January 16, 2019

    Traction Forces Release Growth Factors from Cells to Heal Wounds

    Molecules known as traction-force activated payloads (TrAPs) made from strands of DNA containing different chemical groups might be used to help heal wounds, according to new experiments by researchers at Imperial College London. The new technology may lead to the development of a new generation of materials that interact with damaged tissues to constructively promote the process of repair. There are many examples of materials that are routinely employed to help heal wounds. These include collagen sponges that treat burns and scaffold-like implants that repair bones. “These materials act as passive bystanders, however, during tissue repair whereas wound healing is a highly dynamic, highly coordinated process involving many different cells over a period of time,” explains Ben Almquist, who led this research study. “TrAPs may provide the opportunity to design materials that ‘talk’ with these different cells in different ways and at different times to stimulate tissue repair processes.” Read More

    Using Light to Stop Itch Could Provide Relief From Skin Diseases

    Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Rome have used light to stop itch — at best an annoyance and at worst an uncomfortable chronic symptom — in mice. They used NIR light to activate a phototoxic agent that selectively targets itch-sensing cells, which are located in the upper surface of the skin. When the agent is injected into a mouse’s affected skin area and the area is illuminated with the NIR light, the itch-sensing cells withdraw from the skin, reducing itch-associated behaviors in the mouse and allowing the skin to heal. The researchers said that the effect of the treatment can last several months.  Read More

    Balance of Biomolecular Signals Stimulates Healing by Setting Skin Cells Into Motion

    Balance of Biomolecular Signals Stimulates Healing by Setting Skin Cells Into Motion Stained images of human skin 72 hours after wounding. (left) A control wound treated with PBS, (right) a wound treated with spermine. Credit: A*STAR Skin Research Institute of SingaporeAfter a flesh wound, skin cells march forward to close the gap and repair the injury. Findings from a team led by Leah Vardy at A*STAR's Skin Research Institute of Singapore now demonstrate how a carefully regulated set of molecular cues helps coordinate this healing migration. Vardy was particularly interested in a trio of organic molecules known as polyamines, which play a role in cellular proliferation. "They are well studied in cancer, but much less is known about how changes in their levels can drive normal cellular behavioural changes," says Vardy. An enzyme called AMD1 facilitates the conversion of one polyamine, putrescine, into two other polyamines, spermidine and spermine.  Read More

    What is LED Therapy?

    LEDs or light emitting diodes are semiconductor devices that release light, of different wavelengths, when an electric current passes through. LED phototherapy is a non-invasive and non-thermal procedure, involving the use of LEDs for a range of medical and aesthetic uses. LED therapy has been employed to treat a multitude of skin conditions, such as acne vulgaris, psoriasis, keratosis, precancerous tissue and healing of wounds. It is also a popular method for skin rejuvenation, and is widely used by practicing dermatologists. LED phototherapy can be used as a stand-alone therapy or it can be combined with other therapies like peels and micro-needling to combat a variety of skin conditions. Read More

  • January 8, 2019

    Mortality in Patients with Diabetic Foot Ulcer: A retrospective study of 513 cases from a single Centre in the Northern Territory of Australia

    In this study, researchers assessed mortality outcomes in Australian patients with diabetic foot ulcers (DFU), a common problem in longstanding diabetes. Between January 2003 and June 2015, they included all patients with DFU presenting for the first time to the Multi-Disciplinary Foot Clinic (MDFC) at Royal Darwin Hospital, Northern Territory Australia. Read More

    Hand Hygiene in the Operating Room: Halting the Spread of Staph Infections

    In 2014, approximately 14.2 million inpatient operations were performed in U.S. hospitals. A survey of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevalence, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, revealed an estimated 157,500 surgical site infections associated with inpatient surgeries in 2011. Although advances have been made in infection control practices, surgical site infections remain an alarming cause of morbidity, prolonged hospitalization, and death. In fact, these infections are associated with a mortality rate of 3 percent, and 75 percent of deaths are directly attributable to these infections. Read More

    Hill-Rom Expands Digital Health Capabilities In New Global Collaboration With Microsoft

    Hill-Rom (NYSE: HRC), a global medical technology company, announced today a collaboration with Microsoft to bring advanced, actionable point-of-care data and solutions to caregivers and healthcare provider organizations.    Read More

    Lymphedema Treatment Starts With Education

    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

  • January 2, 2019

    A Non-Invasive Method Developed to Assess Burn Wound Healing 

    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

    Study: Socks with Sensors Could Help Continuously Monitor Diabetic Neuropathy

    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

    Gel Made from the Bark of a Birch Tree Speeds Up the Healing of Wounds from Burns and Reduces Skin Scarring

    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

    Lymphedema Treatment Starts With Education

    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

  • December 19, 2018

    Jump in Amputations Linked to Diabetes 

    The number of diabetes-related lower limb amputations has jumped by nearly a fifth in England over recent years, a leading charity has warned. According to Diabetes UK, 26,378 amputations were carried out between 2014 and 2017, up from 22,092 between 2010 and 2013 - an increase of 19.4%. There has been a significant rise in minor lower limb amputations (26.5%), defined as below the ankle, and a more gradual increase in the number of major lower limb amputations (4.1%), defined as below the knee. Read More

    Skin Deep: A Closer Look at Treatment of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections

    Current guidelines for management of Skin/Soft Tissue Infections (SSTIs) were published in 20141.  Nevertheless, management of SSTIs is variable, likely driven by the fact that culture data is often unavailable to direct clinical decision making. Treatment variability results in inappropriate antimicrobial use, highlighting the need for antimicrobial stewardship. Consequently, management of SSTIs is one area where more research has identified easy targets for improvement. This review describes two such studies. Read More

    URGO Group Receives the 'Prix Galien France 2018' for UrgoStart®, an Innovative Treatment for Diabetic Foot Wound Healing

    With one amputation carried out every 20 seconds, diabetes is the world's leading cause of amputation. In light of this finding, Urgo Medical launched the Explorer clinical study in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK, with the  outcomes published in March 2018 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. The results demonstrated the efficacy of UrgoStart® which led to a 60% increase in wound closure compared with standard care and reduced wound closure time by 60 days from an average period of 180 days.   Read More

    Fighting Operating Room Staphylococcus aureus Transmission—What Are We Missing?

    Investigators on a new study have found that high-risk pathogenic sequence types of Staphylococcus aureus are highly transmissible between patient procedures in the operating room, prompting a call for improved hand hygiene and patient decolonization compliance. The operating room is a tough area to maintain sterility and cleanliness. The operating theater is large, filled with items, and inherently poses a unique risk for surgical site infections. Furthermore, frequent traffic in and out, gross spillage, attire inconsistency, the race to clean and prep the room for the next case upon operating completion, and more, are all things that facilitate germ transmission and complicate infection prevention within this environment. Read More

  • December 12, 2018

    Shape-Shifting Cell Breakthrough 

    A new computational model developed by researchers from The City College of New York and Yale gives a clearer picture of the structure and mechanics of soft, shape-changing cells that could provide a better understanding of cancerous tumor growth, wound healing, and embryonic development. Read More

    New Insole Uses Oxygen to Help Heal Diabetes-Related Foot Ulcers

    When it comes to treating, managing, and preventing diabetes-related complications, it seems oxygen is a key ingredient. Along that line, researchers at Purdue University have created a customizable insole to treat diabetic foot ulcers. It’s similar to evolving medical technology with contact lenses that help prevent and treat diabetic retinopathy. Read More

    New ATTRACT Data Show Catheter-Based Therapy Significantly Reduces Leg Symptoms and PTS Severity to Two Years

    A new study, recently published online in the journal Circulation, reports on outcomes from a subgroup of 391 patients with acute iliofemoral deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in whom pharmacomechanical catheter-directed thrombolysis (PCDT) was evaluated within the ATTRACT trial.  Read More

    Carriage of ESBL-PE May Increase the Risk of Colorectal Surgical Site Infections

    Although the 2013 Infectious Diseases Society of America and 2017 US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines recommend a combination of oral antimicrobials, mechanical bowel preparation (MBP), and intravenous (IV) cephalosporin and metronidazole for colorectal surgical prophylaxis, screening for extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE) in high-risk patients and coverage are not included. Despite the high rates of morbidity and mortality with ESBL-PE infections, little is known about the prevalence of ESBL-PE fecal carriage and its effect on rates of surgical site infections (SSIs) after colorectal surgery. Read More

  • December 5, 2018

    Diacerein Ointment Could Be Safe Treatment for Generalized Severe EBS, Study Suggests

    A 1% diacerein ointment could be a safe and well-tolerated way to treat generalized severe epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), according to a study involving two boys treated for four weeks. In vitro data suggested that the diacerein ointment was retained in the skin for a prolonged period of time. The study, “Basal pharmacokinetic parameters of topically applied diacerein in pediatric patients with generalized severe epidermolysis bullosa simplex,” was published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. Read More

    Wound-Healing Cell May Be Cancer Key

    UCLA scientists have discovered a protein factor that helps a fibroblast cell’s ability to help in wound healing. Fibroblasts are cells found in connective tissues of the body. In response to a wound, they migrate toward and spread through molecular changes. Such proliferation is linked with the reprogramming of gene expression patterns. To understand how fibroblast cells migrate, the UCLA team used RNA sequencing, imaging, primary human cells isolated from skin, cancer cell lines and mouse modeling. Researchers found that proliferating cells adjacent to wounds express higher levels of cleavage and polyadenylation factors than fibroblasts in unwounded skin. Read More

    Stimulating Fibroblasts Can Trigger Hair Growth in Wound Healing

    Stimulating fibroblasts through the sonic hedgehog pathway can trigger hair growth not previously seen in wound healing. By stirring crosstalk among skin cells that form the roots of hair, researchers report they have regrown hair strands on damaged skin. The findings better explain why hair does not normally grow on wounded skin and may help in the search for better drugs to restore hair growth, say the study’s authors. Led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine the study examined the effect of distinct signalling pathways in damaged skin of laboratory mice. Experiments focused on cells called fibroblasts that secrete collagen, the structural protein most responsible for maintaining the shape and strength of skin and hair.  Read More

    It's Not a Shock: Better Bandage Promotes Powerful Healing

    A new device powered by energy harvested from the body’s natural motions accelerates wound healing by delivering gentle electric pulses to an injury site. A new, low-cost wound dressing developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers could dramatically speed up healing in a surprising way. The method leverages energy generated from a patient's own body motions to apply gentle electrical pulses at the site of an injury. In rodent tests, the dressings reduced healing times to a mere three days compared to nearly two weeks for the normal healing process. "We were surprised to see such a fast recovery rate," says Xudong Wang, a professor of materials science and engineering at UW-Madison. "We suspected that the devices would produce some effect, but the magnitude was much more than we expected." Read More