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Featured Articles

  • April 11, 2019

    Skin Tissue Engineering: Wound Healing Based on Stem-Cell-Based Therapeutic Strategies

    Normal wound healing is a dynamic and complex multiple phase process involving coordinated interactions between growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, and various cells. Any failure in these phases may lead wounds to become chronic and have abnormal scar formation. Chronic wounds affect patients’ quality of life, since they require repetitive treatments and incur considerable medical costs. Thus, much effort has been focused on developing novel therapeutic approaches for wound treatment. Stem-cell-based therapeutic strategies have been proposed to treat these wounds. They have shown considerable potential for improving the rate and quality of wound healing and regenerating the skin. However, there are many challenges for using stem cells in skin regeneration. In this review, we present some sets of the data published on using embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and adult stem cells in healing wounds. Additionally, we will discuss the different angles whereby these cells can contribute to their unique features and show the current drawbacks. Read More

    Sweat Gland Organoids Contribute to Cutaneous Wound Healing and Sweat Gland Regeneration

    Sweat glands perform a vital thermoregulatory function in mammals. Like other skin components, they originate from epidermal progenitors. However, they have low regenerative potential in response to injury. We have established a sweat gland culture and expansion method using 3D organoids cultures. The epithelial cells derived from sweat glands in dermis of adult mouse paw pads were embedded into Matrigel and formed sweat gland organoids (SGOs). These organoids maintained remarkable stem cell features and demonstrated differentiation capacity to give rise to either sweat gland cells (SGCs) or epidermal cells. Moreover, the bipotent SGO-derived cells could be induced into stratified epidermis structures at the air−liquid interface culture in a medium tailored for skin epidermal cells in vitro.  Read More

    Biomedical Applications of Isotope-Dilution Liquid Chromatography

    Isotope dilution is used to determine the quantity of a chemical substance in a sample. In this method, isotopically enriched material is added to a sample which leads to a "dilution" of the standard. Random sampling is then performed to give the ratio of the standard and sample, which can then be used to infer the quantity of material within the sample. Isotope-Dilution Liquid Chromatography is a potent method to determine carbohydrates and sugar levels in alcohol. Mono-and disaccharides can be simultaneously separated and identified with a detection limit of 50 pmol. This method allows the detection of glucose at low isotopic dilution levels ranging from 0.1–1%, while sorbitol can be detected at a labeled/unlabelled ratio of 1:1. These can be detected in samples such as blood serum or amniotic fluid. This has also been used in clinical investigations to determine the concentration of sorbitol in amniotic fluid and in children that suffer from glycogen storage disease type I.   Read More

    Restrict Movement, Door Openings to Reduce SSI Risk During Surgery

    Findings from a multicenter, observational study conducted in France revealed an association between the movements of staff in the operating room, or OR, during surgery and the risk for surgical site infections. “We aimed to objectively describe and assess staff behaviors in the OR and their variability by recording staff movements using a motion tracking system and door-openings detection system,” Gabriel Birgand, PhD, a researcher affiliated with several institutions in Paris, and colleagues wrote. “We also assessed correlations between movements of the OR personnel and the [surgical site infection (SSI)] risk, as approximated by surrogates of the exogenous infectious risk, in a panel of ORs from two clean surgical specialties.” Read More

  • April 4, 2019

    Bacteria Partners With Virus to Cause Chronic Wounds

    A common bacterial pathogen called Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces a virus that substantially increases the pathogen's ability to infect us, according to a study by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine. P. aeruginosa weaponizes its resident virus to exploit the immune system's distinct responses to bacterial versus viral infections. This marks the first time a bacteria-infecting virus, otherwise known as a bacteriophage or just phage, has been observed inducing the immune system to mount an antiviral response and, in doing so, causing it to ignore the bacterial infection. When the scientists generated a vaccine directed at the virus, they showed that it dramatically lowered the bacteria's ability to infect wounds in mice. Read More

    New Therapeutic Approach for Severe Skin Disease

    In the context of a project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, the microbiologist Franz Radner was able to identify an important mechanism of skin metabolism and develop new treatment options for the skin disease ichthyosis. The therapy could also be effective against ageing of the skin. Named after the Greek word for fish, ichthyosis is a rare genetic disease which results in the skin becoming very dry and scaly. There are mild types that do not prevent patients from leading a normal life, but there are also severe types that can be fatal. The condition cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be alleviated with baths and ointments. Franz Radner, a researcher from Graz, was now able for the first time to explore in greater detail how a genetic defect leads to the disease.  Read More

    New Material Will Allow Abandoning Bone Marrow Transplantation

    Scientists from the National University of Science and Technology "MISIS" developed nanomaterial, which will be able to restore the internal structure of bones damaged due to osteoporosis and osteomyelitis. A special bioactive coating of the material helped to increase the rate of division of bone cells by three times. In the future, it can allow to abandon bone marrow transplantation and patients will no longer need to wait for suitable donor material. An article about the development was published in Applied Surface Science. Such diseases as osteoporosis and osteomyelitis cause irreversible degenerative changes in the bone structure. Such diseases require serious complex treatment and surgery and transplantation of the destroyed bone marrow in severe stages.   Read More

    Outbreaks of ‘Medieval’ Diseases Are Becoming More Common in Cities

    In recent months, hepatitis A, Shigella bacteria, and typhus outbreaks have all been reported in cities across the country. Yes, you read all of that correctly. Recent cases of these rare conditions have been cropping up in particularly vulnerable communities in large urban areas. These diseases have especially been on the rise in homeless communities, where lack of medical care and unhygienic conditions have served as a breeding ground for so-called “medieval” diseases — diseases that typically don’t pose a threat to the general American population in the 21st century. Read More

  • March 29, 2019

    DCBs Not Beneficial in Below-the-Knee Lesions  

    Compared with plain balloons, drug-coated balloons did not improve patency and were associated with worse 12-month rates of amputation-free survival in patients with below-the-knee lesions, according to an investigator-initiated study presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology Annual Scientific Meeting. The researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial of 138 patients with critical limb ischemia (mean age, 63 years; 93 men; 94.2% with diabetes; 52.9% with end-stage renal failure) who had below-the-knee lesions treated with a DCB or a plain balloon. Read More

    Wearable Sensors Mimic Skin to Help With Wound Healing Process

    Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York, have developed skin-inspired electronics to conform to the skin, allowing for long-term, high-performance, real-time wound monitoring in users. “We eventually hope that these sensors and engineering accomplishments can help advance healthcare applications and provide a better quantitative understanding in disease progression, wound care, general health, fitness monitoring and more,” said Matthew Brown, a PhD student at Binghamton University. Biosensors are analytical devices that combine a biological component with a physiochemical detector to observe and analyze a chemical substance and its reaction in the body.  Read More

    Mechanism of Impaired Wound Healing in Diabetes Identified

    Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified a mechanism that can explain the impaired wound healing in diabetes which can lead to diabetic foot ulcers. The study is published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In diabetic mice, wound healing improved when the identified signalling pathway was blocked. Diabetic foot ulcerations are a common complication of diabetes that constitute a major medical, social and economic issue. The lifetime risk of a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes developing a foot ulcer is around fifteen percent. The treatment options are currently limited due to a poor understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms.   Read More

    Wound-Healing Bacteria

    It sounds counter intuitive to rub bacteria into a wound to make it heal faster, but a Swedish startup, called Ilya Pharma are doing just that, with astonishing results. A few years ago, during her PhD, Evelina Vågesjö discovered a family of immune signals made by white blood cells that lure other immune cells into wound sites where they can promote repair. But these signals are tricky to produce, and they act for only a very short time. Her solution was to add the gene used in the body to make the immune signal to bacteria like those you find in yogurt and apply the modified bacteria into the injury. Read More

  • March 22, 2019

    1 in 10 Adults Hospitalized for Cellulitis Readmitted Within a Month

    The 30-day rehospitalization rate for adults hospitalized for cellulitis is nearly 10% in the United States, according to a study published online in JAMA Dermatology. Researchers from Harvard Medical School came to their findings after assessing 447,080 hospital admissions for cellulitis using the nationally representative 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Database. Specifically, the analysis identified a 30-day all-cause nonelective readmission rate of 9.8% among the study population. Skin and subcutaneous tissue infections were the most common cause of readmission (29.7%). Read More

    First Patients Dosed in Phase 1/2 Trial Testing PTR-01 for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

    A Phase 1/2 trial evaluating the investigational therapy PTR-01 for recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) has started dosing patients. PTR-01 is a recombinant version of the human protein collagen type VII (rC7), which is mutated in dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa patients. The therapy, developed by Phoenix Tissue Repair, is administered into the blood and is a potential disease-modifying treatment that works by replacing defective collagen type VII with healthy collagen at sites where it’s needed. Currently, no cure or effective treatment is available for RDEB patients, but this treatment seems to effectively promote wound healing, as seen in mouse models of the condition. Read More

    San Antonio’s Burn Treatment Pioneer Basil Pruitt Dies at 88

    A retired colonel who led the Army’s Institute of Surgical Research for 27 years, he studied why burn wounds become infected and, with the ISR laboratory division chief, the late Arthur D. Mason Jr., developed and tested a cream that reduced that risk. At the institute, Pruitt created a model in which rigorous scientific inquiry was followed by dramatic improvements in care that were shared with civilian burn centers worldwide. Burn patients now have a far better chance of survival than they did 50 years ago. “The one word which comes to mind when thinking of Dr. Basil A. Pruitt Jr. is ‘giant,’” Dr. Lee Cancio, a retired Army colonel and now civilian director of the ISR’s burn center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, said Monday. Read More

    Is Tendon Lengthening Underused for Diabetic Foot Problems?

    Diabetes mellitus causes sensory and motor neuropathy. Neuropathy in patients with diabetes results in decreased protective sensation and tendon imbalance. Tendon imbalance, especially Achilles or gastrocnemius-soleus tightness, causes increased mechanical stress in the foot. This stress can cause foot pain and calluses, which can progress to forefoot ulcers. Less commonly, the increased stress in the foot causes the bone and ligaments of the foot to fail before the skin, resulting in the arch collapse of Charcot foot. Arch collapse can progress to plantar bony prominence and then midfoot ulceration. This increased stress in the foot can be decreased by tendon lengthening, which can resolve foot pain and ulcers. Read More

  • March 15, 2019

    Plasma Protein May Hold Potential for Making Wound-Healing Tissue Scaffolds

    Researchers in Germany have employed a plasma protein found in blood to develop a new method for making wound-healing tissue scaffolds. The team's new scaffold can be attached or detached from a surface, for either in vitro laboratory tissue studies or direct applications in the body. Their discovery, reported today in the journal Biofabrication, could be extremely useful for future use in wound healing and tissue engineering. Lead author Professor Dorothea Brüggemann, from the University of Bremen, said: "The protein we used is called fibrinogen. It is an extracellular glycoprotein found in blood plasma and plays a major role in wound healing by assembling into a fibrous network to form a provisional extracellular matrix (ECM) that helps with wound closure." Read More

    New Research Suggests Potential Role for Wild Blueberries in Promoting Wound Healing

    New research, published in The Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, reveals that the unique phenolic acids found in wild blueberries speed up the migration of cells that line our blood vessels (endothelial cells). Cell migration (the moving of cells in order to begin forming new tissue) is an integral part of angiogenesis (the development of blood vessels to supply the newly forming tissue) and the wound healing process. Additionally, the research found that a combination of phenolic acids and anthocyanins in wild blueberries also promoted cell migration. These new findings have positive implications for wound healing and tissue repair, which are especially important for people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and conditions associated with ischemia, such as strokes. Read More

    Mobile Bedside Bioprinter Can Heal Wounds

    Imagine a day when a bioprinter filled with a patient's own cells can be wheeled right to the bedside to treat large wounds or burns by printing skin, layer by layer, to begin the healing process. That day is not far off. Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) scientists have created such a mobile skin bioprinting system - the first of its kind - that allows bi-layered skin to be printed directly into a wound. "The unique aspect of this technology is the mobility of the system and the ability to provide on-site management of extensive wounds by scanning and measuring them in order to deposit the cells directly where they are needed to create skin," said Sean Murphy, Ph.D., a WFIRM assistant professor who was lead author of the paper published this month in Nature's Scientific Reports journal. Read More

    New Device Could Help Minimize Scarring in Cosmetic Surgery

    Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed a new device that could help minimize scarring during surgery. The device can ascertain the orientation of skin tension lines, which is important for wound-healing post-surgery. Human skin is a complex tissue that exhibits properties that arise primarily from the alignment of collagen fibers in the dermis layer of the skin, ultimately causing skin tension lines. These lines are vital for surgery, as they are used to guide incisions that produce the least conspicuous scars. While there are many skin tension guidelines to help surgeons make incisions that create unnoticeable scars, skin anisotropy, or the skin's property of having directionally dependent mechanical properties, is believed to vary from subject to subject, with no single guideline universally recognized as the best to implement for surgical applications. Read More

  • March 8, 2019

    Developing Wound-Healing Tissue Scaffolds from Protein in Blood

    Researchers have found a plasma protein in blood that could help develop a new method for making wound-healing tissue scaffolds. The scaffold can be attached or detached from a surface for tissue studies or direct applications to the body. This research could be pertinent to the future use in wound healing and tissue engineering. Professor Dorothea Brüggemann, lead author from the University of Bremen, says, "The protein we used is called fibrinogen. It is an extracellular glycoprotein found in blood plasma and plays a major role in wound healing by assembling into a fibrous network to form a provisional extracellular matrix (ECM) that helps with wound closure." Read More

    Electroceutical Bandages Can Help Heal Wounds Faster 

    Bandages infused with electricity can help heal wounds faster than typical bandages or antibiotics--but for years, researchers have not really understood why. A recent study by a team at The Ohio State University is offering new clues about the science behind those bandages, and researchers say the findings could help lead to better wound treatment. The bandages belong to a class of therapies called electroceuticals, which are devices that use electrical impulses to treat medical issues such as wounds. The study, published online recently in the journal Scientific Reports by a research team at The Ohio State University, is the first of its kind to look at the ways electroceutical bandages kill bacteria around a wound, allowing wounds to heal faster. Electroceutical bandages have been used to treat wounds since at least 2013.  Read More

    New Technology That Prints Human Skin Could Help Hasten Wound Healing

    Scientists have developed a new technology that can print human skin, layer by layer, to cover and treat large wounds or burns faster than traditional treatments. A team from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) created the mobile skin bioprinting system that uses a patient's own cells to produce skin tissue that will directly cover wounds, EurekAlert reported Thursday. Researchers said in a report published in the Scientific Reports journal that doctors can easily move the wheeled technology to any place because of its mobility. "The unique aspect of this technology is the mobility of the system and the ability to provide on-site management of extensive wounds by scanning and measuring them in order to deposit the cells directly where they are needed to create skin," Sean Murphy, a WFIRM assistant professor and lead author of the report, said.  Read More

    The Therapeutic Promise of Apoptosis

    Stem cells are classically defined by their unlimited proliferative potential and capacity to differentiate into diverse cell types. For many years, investigations in the stem cell field have focused specifically on the self-renewal and differentiation aspects, leaving the mechanisms of stem cell elimination relatively unexplored. What may at first appear to be a trivial question—how can an “immortal” self-renewing stem cell commit cellular suicide?—struck me as biologically important. Are there distinct mechanisms enabling such elimination, I wondered, and, if so, to what extent does this process affect tissue regeneration? Read More