SA researchers develop infection-busting bandages
Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a novel coating that can be applied to any wound dressing to simultaneously reduce wound inflammation and treat infection in chronic wounds.
Comprising a stable nitroxide radical that is plasma polymerised into a smooth coating, the bandages have potential to revolutionise the treatment of chronic wounds such as pressure, diabetic or vascular ulcers that won’t heal on their own.
With research published in RSC Advances, lead researcher Dr Thomas Michl from UniSA STEM said that upgrading current dressings with this state-of-the-art coating will promote effective healing on chronic wounds and reduce patient suffering.
“Proper care for chronic wounds requires frequent changes of wound dressings, but currently these wound dressings are passive actors in wound management,” Dr Michl said.
“Our novel coatings change this, turning any wound dressing into an active participant in the healing process — not only covering and protecting the wound, but also knocking down excessive inflammation and infection.
“No other method achieves this to date.”
In Australia, nearly half a million people suffer from chronic wounds, costing the health system an estimated $3 billion each year. It’s a similar picture around the world.
With growing rates of global obesity, diabetes and an ageing population, chronic wounds are increasingly affecting large proportions of the general population — yet until this breakthrough discovery, few treatments have shown such positive results.
The technology is highly scalable and sustainable, making it a viable option for broad application worldwide.
The team is now investigating the shelf life of the coatings, with encouraging results. Next steps are preclinical trials, with products potentially available in two to three years.
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