Clay Used as an Effective Antimicrobial Agent
Researchers at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute have discovered that certain types of clay have effective, topical antibacterial properties against a range of pathogens, including Escherichia coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Clays have been used for centuries as topical treatments for surgical wounds, demonstrating their beneficial effects for pain management, inflammation, putrefaction, and healing processes. The antimicrobial effect of the clays is partly due to low pH and particular metal ions. The study identified that metal ions, including iron, copper, cobalt, nickel, and zinc, in the clay are likely responsible for its potent antibacterial properties. Kaolinite, talc, and smectite clay minerals are highly absorptive. Upon application to skin and wounds, clays offer mechanical protection similar to a bandage, sealing out external physical or chemical agents, as well as absorptive properties that assist in removing devitalized tissue and excessive exudate from a wound.
Calcium Helps Trigger Wound Healing
Researchers from the University of Bristol's Schools of Biochemistry and Physiology and Pharmacology in collaboration with a team from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom identified the influx of calcium as an early trigger of the inflammatory process in wounds. Calcium activates an enzyme known as DUOX that synthesizes hydrogen peroxide, providing signals to recruit white blood cells to the wound following tissue damage.
Skin Deep: Fruit Flies Reveal Clues to Wound Healing in Humans
Like human skin, the fruit fly has exoskeleton to protect the underlying tissue against injury, infection, and dehydration. The mesh-works of macromolecules and proteins in the exoskeleton also respond to some of the same signals involved in mammalian wound healing. The similarities render the fruit fly an excellent model to dissect skin repair at a cell and molecular level. The researchers discover that an immune response begins as soon as the cuticle has been breached allowing the injured area to defend itself against bacteria or fungi invasion. The researchers surveyed 84 genes that are turned on and 78 genes that are turned off as the fly embryo responds to wounding.
Implantable and Bioresorbable Electronic Device to Promote Wound Healing
Researchers have developed bioresorbable electronic devices that could be implanted into the body to reduce pain by stimulating certain nerves, prevent bacterial growth, and stimulate bone growth or wound healing. The electronics are enclosed in material that dissolves completely after a certain period of time when exposed to water or body fluids. The number of layers and the time it takes for the encapsulation of the device to dissolve in the body will determine the lifetime of the device. The latest transient electronic devices incorporate zinc oxide that could produce electricity when bent or twisted during movement of muscles in the body, pulsation of blood vessels, or beating of the heart.
New Features Added to Fecal Management System
Fecal incontinence is a common condition that affects a number of patients in intensive care. Recurring and frequent diarrhea increases the risk of skin breakdown and spread of pathogens in fecal material. ConvaTec has launched the new Flexi-Seal Control FMS, a fecal containment system, which incorporates a control valve to avoid overinflation of the device’s retention balloon. The system also introduces an odor barrier and a privacy bag; it is indicated for patients with little to no bowel control and can be used for up to 29 consecutive days.