Mobile App for Burn Patients
In 2016, more than 200,000 burn patients were admitted to regional burn centers in the US for specialized intensive care treatment for burn injuries, according to the National Institutes of Health. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville's College of Social Work has developed the first mobile phone app designed to support burn patients. The new app will offer instructional videos for dressing changes and range of motion, answer patient questions, offer health-related reminders and provide encouraging daily messages that are appropriate to each burn patient's stage of recovery. It also will capture feedback from burn survivors related to pain, mood, anxiety, patient self-efficacy, goal setting and achievement, social participation, wound healing, medication and pressure garment compliance, and will offer tips on returning to work. The goal is to decrease hospital readmissions and support the patient's healing, quality of life and resilience.
Comparison of Skin Closure at Cesarean Delivery Using Glue versus Intra-Cuticular Sutures
Cesarean delivery rates have increased during the last few decades and it has become the most common surgery during a woman's reproductive years. There is currently no definite evidence regarding the best method for skin closure after a cesarean surgery. Safety of the operation, healing, and cosmetic outcomes are important considerations that determine the choice of skin closure methods.
In a recent randomized controlled trial, pregnant women undergoing a scheduled cesarean delivery were randomly assigned to skin closure with glue (Dermabond, Ethicon) or with a monofilament synthetic suture (Monocryl, Ethicon). Scars were evaluated after 8 weeks. Primary outcome measures were Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS) scores. Secondary outcome measures were surgeon satisfaction, duration of surgery, duration of hospitalization after the cesarean delivery, and complications of surgical site infection or wound complications at the incision. Both surgeons and patients were blinded to the skin closure method.
The researchers found no significant differences found between the 2 groups in blood loss, infections, and length of postpartum hospitalization or wound disruption. Glue and suture skin closure scores using POSAS were similar 8 weeks after surgery.
Antibiotic Synthetic Spider Silk for Wound Healing
An interdisciplinary team of scientists at The University of Nottingham has developed a technique to produce spider silk that can be tailored to applications used in drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and wound healing. Spider silk is strong, biocompatible, and biodegradable. It is a protein-based material that does not appear to cause a strong immune, allergic, or inflammatory reaction. The team use "click-chemistry" to attach molecules, such as antibiotics or fluorescent dyes, to artificially produced spider silk synthesized by Escherichia coli bacteria. These fibers function as a temporary scaffold and can replace the extra cellular matrix to accelerate growth of the new tissue. The team has also shown that these silk fibers are coated with the antibiotic levofloxacin that render its anti-bacterial activity for at least 5 days.
Patient Perceptions of Pain Treatment with Use of Transdermal Formulations
The institutional review board-approved OPERA (Optimizing Patient Experience and Response to Topical Analgesics) study was designed to evaluate patient perceptions of pain treatment with the use of FDA-approved topical/transdermal formulations alone or in combination with neuropathic supplements via a patient-reported survey. The study includes 100 clinician investigators and more than 1000 patients, both men and women, ranging in age from 18 to 64. Latest analysis indicates participants continue to see a reduction of 45% of opioid usage and a significant reduction of nonopioid drugs to treat chronic pain.
Anti-adhesion Molecules to Combat Multidrug Resistance Bacteria
A research team from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center identified a new way to prevent bacteria from binding to host tissue. The study done in rats targeted one of the most lethal pathogens: multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is found in approximately 33% of all burn cases and in 59% of extensive burns. A group of adhesion molecules called adhesins that are created by bacteria to bind, or stick to cells in an early and crucial step in causing infection. The researchers showed that topical application of an engineered adhesion inhibitor molecule—Multivalent Adhesion Molecule 7, or MAM7—substantially decreased the bacterial levels in wounds in the first 24 hours after administration and prevented the spread of the infection to adjacent tissue for 3 more days. In addition, the experimental molecule aided wound healing and maintained normal inflammatory responses to the burn, the researchers report.