Articles

News and Research

14

Nov

2016

Electrical stimulation may offer alternative to antibiotics for wound treatment

by Catharine Paddock PhD

Researchers have developed a way of using electrical stimulation in wound dressing that may offer an effective alternative to antibiotics. They found their approach nearly eliminated all of a multi-drug-resistant bacterium that is often found in infections that are hard to treat. 

14

Nov

2016

The Effect of pH on the Extracellular Matrix and Biofilms

Eleri M. Jones,1 Christine A. Cochrane,1 and Steven L. Percival

Significance: Chronic wounds become caught in a state of inflammation causing an increase in levels of degrading proteases, which destroy components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that are essential for the wound healing process. This review aims to highlight and provide readers with an overview of what is currently known about the role of pH and its effect on the ECM and biofilms within healing and nonhealing wounds.

Recent Advances: The pH profiles of healthy skin, acute wounds, and chronic wounds differ significantly. Chronic wounds have an alkaline pH whereas healthy skin has a slightly acidic pH. Although there is evidence on the effect of pH on protease production and bacterial proliferation in wounds, there is little evidence to show its effect on ECM synthesis and degradation.

Critical Issues: The implications for the complex nature of chronic wounds are that no single treatment is relevant for all wounds, but rather a combination of methodologies must be adopted. It is known that pH of a wound reduces throughout the stages of healing, suggesting that wound pH measurements could be beneficial to identify nonhealing wounds earlier and decide on the most appropriate course of treatment.

Future Direction: Wound healing is a very complex process with multiple factors known to play a role. All aspects of the nonhealing wound (defective ECM, pH, microbial invasion, and excess proteases) need to be taken into account when investigating or clinically treating a chronic wound. Full Article >>

14

Nov

2016

Chronic Wound Biofilm Model

Kasturi Ganesh, Mithun Sinha, Shomita S. Mathew-Steiner, Amitava Das, Sashwati Roy, and Chandan K. Sen

Significance: Multispecies microbial biofilms may contribute to wound chronicity by derailing the inherent reparative process of the host tissue. In the biofilm form, bacteria are encased within an extracellular polymeric substance and become recalcitrant to antimicrobials and host defenses. For biofilms of relevance to human health, there are two primary contributing factors: the microbial species involved and host response which, in turn, shapes microbial processes over time. This progressive interaction between microbial species and the host is an iterative process that helps evolve an acute-phase infection to a pathogenic chronic biofilm. Thus, long-term wound infection studies are needed to understand the longitudinal cascade of events that culminate into a pathogenic wound biofilm.

Recent Advances: Our laboratory has recently published the first long-term (2 month) study of polymicrobial wound biofilm infection in a translationally valuable porcine wound model.

Critical Issues: It is widely recognized that the porcine system represents the most translationally valuable approach to experimentally model human skin wounds. A meaningful experimental biofilm model must be in vivo, include mixed species of clinically relevant microbes, and be studied longitudinally long term. Cross-validation of such experimental findings with findings from biofilm-infected patient wounds is critically important. 

Future Directions: Additional value may be added to the experimental system described above by studying pigs with underlying health complications (e.g., metabolic syndrome), as is typically seen in patient populations. Full Article >>

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