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Featured Articles

  • March 6, 2018

    Smart Bandage, Smartphone Controlled

    Even with medical science advances, the treatment of wounds is often fairly low tech. The process of changing bandages and applying the right medication at the right interval is often labor intensive. Promoting faster healing and preventing infection remain concerns. Scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard Medical School and MIT have developed a bandage that works with a smartphone to dispense the right medication onto the wound at the right time. The smart bandage features electrically conductive fibers coated in a hydrogel that contains medicines like painkillers, antibiotics and tissue-regenerating therapies, which can target a specific type of wound. Read More

    Successful Treatment of CLI Requires Collaboration, Awareness

    Patients with critical limb ischemia face enormous challenges, and the medical community must work closely together to improve their lives via the best known treatments, a speaker said at the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET). “We make decisions about the treatments for these patients without even thinking about which ones necessarily work best and last the longest, but our patients are begging us to figure this out.” Read More

    Preventing a Million Diabetic Foot Amputations

    Every 20 seconds someone, somewhere on the planet, loses a foot due to diabetes. Foot ulcers are the starting point of more than 80% of these amputations, and they could be prevented. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes, globally, has risen from 108m in 1980 to 422m in 2014. This is a huge burden on healthcare services as diabetes is associated with many long-term health complications, including peripheral neuropathy, where nerves become damaged, leading to pain, numbness or weakness. While costs are increasing, healthcare professionals have yet to find an effective way to screen diabetic patients and treat complications caused by the disease. Read More

    A Bacterium That Attacks Burn Victims will Soon be Unarmed

    The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is amongst the main causes of infections and sepsis in people suffering from severe burns. Researchers have succeeded in revealing the dynamics of the pathogen's physiology and metabolism during its growth in exudates, the biological fluids that seep out of burn wounds. This study allows to follow the strategies developed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa to proliferate and, thus, to guide the development of innovative treatments. Read More

  • February 27, 2018

    Building the $1.6M Wound-Monitoring Smartphone App

    When patients have chronic wounds, they often end up spending a lot of time and money on care. Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, however, hope to ease the burden with a smartphone app that promises to use artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and analyze chronic wounds, cutting costs and the number of trips. The National Institutes of Health liked the idea enough to throw $1.6 million behind its development over the next 4 years. Read More

    Falls Biggest Patient Threat, Report Shows

    Among the biggest threats to patient safety is an age-old problem: falling. Falls continue to be the single largest cause of serious injuries caused by a medical error, according to a new statewide report on hospital mistakes. And the problem is not confined to older adults, said Dr. Rahul Koranne, chief medical officer for the Minnesota Hospital Association. Nearly a third of falls occurred in patients 64 years old or younger. “That dispels the thinking that only older folks are falling,” he said. “The other trend we are seeing is that a majority of falls are happening around the time of bathroom use.” Read More

    The Long Term Impact Of Diabetes

    Diabetes is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. As a clinician in assessing patients the rule of thumb, I was taught was that every year of diabetes added a year to a patient’s functional age – a 65-year-old with ten years of diabetes responded more like a 75-year-old. A paper in Diabetologia confirms the value of the heuristic, at least in their finding that a longer history of diabetes results in greater mortality. As with any good study, the results pose more questions than answers. Why would earlier onset with equivalent duration result in higher mortality? Read More

    Hollister Ostomy Care Skin Barrier Product Positively Impacts Peristomal Skin Health And Cost Of Care For People With Ostomies

    Hollister Incorporated, a global medical device manufacturer, today announced that its ADVOCATE (A Randomized Controlled Trial Determining the Variances in Ostomy Skin Conditions And The Economic Impact) study demonstrated that CeraPlus skin barrier, an ostomy skin barrier infused with ceramide, has a positive impact on stoma-related cost of care and peristomal skin health. "These data provide significant insights into how proactively managing peristomal skin health with a ceramide-infused skin barrier may result in better outcomes for those living with ostomies." Read More

  • February 20, 2018

    How to Spot Diabetic Foot Complications Early

    Foot infections are among the most common health complications in people with diabetes. When a seemingly normal wound is left untreated, it can become severely infected. Diabetics have abnormally high levels of glucose in their blood for long periods of time. This can lead to artery and nerve damage, which can compromise sensation in the feet. When diabetics get a simple cut, scrape or foot ailment and they leave it untreated, it can lead to serious complications. Read More

    Risk Assessment Tool can now Better Predict Pressure Injuries in Children

    Pressure-related skin injuries, a nurse-sensitive quality indicator in hospitals, are associated with increased morbidity and higher costs of care. There's been much attention focused on hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPI) in the adult population. However, while preventable, immobility-related and medical device-related pressure injuries (MDPI) also occur in hospitalized infants and children. Read More

    Regentys and Cook Partnering on Ongoing Development of Ulcerative Colitis Therapy

    Regentys and Cook Biotech are teaming up to continue developing a treatment for the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis. ECMH is a non-drug, non-surgical treatment for ulcerative colitis. It is based on extracellular matrix, or ECM, the non-cell component in all tissue and organs that provides the physical structure for the cell constituents. It is fundamental for the normal functioning and stability of tissue development. Read More

    Ultrathin, Highly Elastic Skin Display Developed

    A new ultrathin, elastic display that fits snugly on the skin can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor. Combined with a wireless communication module, this integrated biomedical sensor system -- called 'skin electronics' -- can transmit biometric data to the cloud. The newly-developed skin electronics system aims to go a step further by enhancing information accessibility for people such as the elderly or the infirm, who tend to have difficulty operating and obtaining data from existing devices and interfaces. Read More

  • February 13, 2018

    Preventing Pressure Ulcers in Hospitals: A Toolkit for Improving Quality of Care

    Pressure ulcer prevention requires an interdisciplinary approach to care. Some parts of pressure ulcer prevention care are highly routinized, but care must also be tailored to the specific risk profile of each patient. No individual clinician working alone, regardless of how talented, can prevent all pressure ulcers from developing. Rather, pressure ulcer prevention requires activities among many individuals, including the multiple disciplines and multiple teams involved indeveloping and implementing the care plan. To accomplish this coordination, high quality prevention requires an organizational culture and operational practices that promote teamwork and communication, as well as individual expertise. Read More

    Shock Waves Can Help Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers

    Foot ulcers caused by poor circulation, neuropathy or foot deformities represent one of the most expensive and difficult complications to heal for people with diabetes. Wound centers initially use “standard of care” treatments to clean the wound and remove dead skin along with expensive topical agents and sometimes even honey. Adjunct treatments often are needed to improve the chances of healing diabetes foot ulcers that, once infected, can lead to amputations. Now another safe and effective adjunct treatment has been added to the wound-healing arsenal. Read More

    Lactic Acid Bacteria Could be Key for Accelerated Wound Healing

    Researchers have found a new method to accelerate how wounds heal in humans. A team of scientists from Uppsala University and SLU has discovered that lactic acid bacteria can be transformed into human chemokine-producing vectors to bioengineer the wound microenvironment and greatly accelerate wound closure. The researchers are the first to develop the concept for topical use. The technology could turn out to be disruptive to the field of biologic drugs. A treatment that kick-starts and accelerates wound healing would have a significant impact due to the aging population, occurrence of chronic diseases including diabetes and the global spread of antibiotic resistances. Read More

    Smartphone App Allows Doctors, Nurses to Remotely Monitor Wound Healing

    The healing of postoperative surgical wounds can be effectively monitored with a new smartphone app, new research indicates. The app, called WoundCheck, can be used to send digital images of a post-surgical wound with a short patient-administered questionnaire to monitoring nurses and could help reduce the need for post-surgical patient readmission, researchers report in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. The study, conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, indicates that the sending of images by patients can reduce surgical site infections and patient readmissions, and improve patient care. Read More

  • February 7, 2018

    Macrophages May Promote Progression of Systemic Sclerosis, Study Shows

    New research establishes a link between immune cells, known as macrophages, and systemic sclerosis progression. The study showed that gene expression in macrophages from systemic sclerosis patients is altered, including higher activity of the susceptibility gene GSDMA. Previous studies have identified several genes linked to an increased susceptibility to systemic sclerosis, but which cells carried these variants remained poorly understood. Now, an international collaboration identified a group of immune cells – macrophages – as potential perpetrators of disease progression. Read More

    Unexpected Helpers in Wound Healing

    Nerve cells in the skin help wounds to heal. When an injury occurs, cells known as glial cells change into repair cells and disseminate into the wound, where they help the skin to regenerate, researchers from the University of Zurich have shown. There have long been indications that for optimal healing to occur, a tissue needs to be innervated (i.e. supplied with nerves). The reason, however, remained unclear. With the help of an animal model, researchers discovered that fine nerve bundles change drastically if they are injured when a skin wound occurs. Read More

    Safety Board OKs Continuation of Phase 2b Trial of Lanifibranor as a Systemic Sclerosis Treatment

    A data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has recommended that Inventiva continue its Phase 2b clinical trial assessing lanifibranor (previously known as IVA337) for the treatment of diffuse cutaneous scleroderma, after reviewing data gathered in the study to date. The trial, which is now fully enrolled with 145 patients, compares lanifibranor to a placebo. Researchers believe that the treatment has the potential to slow disease progression in people with scleroderma by controlling fibrosis development. Read More

    New Technology for Accelerated Wound Healing Discovered

    Researchers have found a new way of accelerating wound healing. The technology and the mode of action involves using lactic acid bacteria as vectors to produce and deliver a human chemokine on site in the wounds. The research group is the first in the world to have developed the concept for topical use and the technology could turn out to be disruptive to the field of biologic drugs. The potent effect on acceleration of wound healing is demonstrated in healthy mice but also in two models of diabetes, one model of peripheral ischemia as well as in a model using human skin biopsies. Read More

  • January 31, 2018

    Collagen VII Protein Important in Immune Response to Bacteria in EB, Mouse Study Shows

    The systemic administration of collagen VII protein can reduce bacteria in the skin of mice with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), according to a report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, “Impaired lymphoid extracellular matrix impedes antibacterial immunity in epidermolysis bullosa,” showed that collagen VII is required in the spleen to support the activity of immune cells and promote their innate defense mechanisms. This finding may help researchers understand why people with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare genetic disease caused by a mutation in the COL7A1 gene — which provides instructions for the protein collagen VII — are more susceptible to developing wound infections. The results may also open new therapeutic avenues to treat EB. Read More

    People With Diabetes Face Increased Risk of Infections

    Diabetes patients have an increased risk of suffering serious infections or death compared to the general public, new research has shown. The study analysed the electronic GP and hospital records of more than 100,000 adults aged 40 to 89 years with a diabetes diagnosis, and compared them to those without a diabetes diagnosis. The researchers estimated that 6% of infection-related hospital admissions, such as for pneumonia, and 12% of infection-related deaths among adults could be attributed to diabetes. Read More

    Iran Unveils Indigenous Polymer Wound Care Dressing, Artificial Vessel

    Iranian scientists have managed to produce an artificial vessel and a type of wound care dressing using polymeric materials. The two technological developments were unveiled in a ceremony attended by the Head of Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute (IPPI) Mehdi Nekouhesh. The polymer wound care dressing was invented as part of larger plan to find a treatment for a particular type of skin wounds, a Farsi report by Mehr said. The artificial vessel was the second invention of the Institute’s scientists. The vessel, which is now at the clinical stage, used to be an imported good and is being produced for the first time by IPPI in Iran. Read More

    A Powerful new Weapon Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria was Inspired by the Human Body

    Drug-resistant bacteria are thwarting the world’s last-resort antibiotics, leading scientists to seek new compounds from poisonous frogs, backyard soil bacteria, and other wildlife. Now, scientists have found the makings of an exceptional microbe killer inside us: By tweaking a naturally occurring peptide—a short chain of amino acids—found in the human body, researchers have designed a drug that could wipe out obstinate microbes resistant to all available treatments. When a small subset of bacteria survives antibiotic treatment, an infection can get out of control fast. As these resilient microbes thrive, they can group together on a surface—like a wound or a medical device—and encase themselves in a slimy protective layer known as a biofilm.  Read More