A unique device, called Dermastream, which could heal bedsores and chronic ulcers in bedridden elderly and infirm has been developed by researchers at Tel Aviv University.
When ill, such people are prone to painful and dangerous pressure ulcers, and diabetics are susceptible to wounds caused by a lack of blood flow to the extremities.
"The problem is chronic," said Prof. Amihay Freeman of TAU's Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology.
The device provides an enzyme-based solution that flows continuously over the wound, offering an alternative treatment to combat a problem for which current treatments are costly and labour-intensive.
Freeman said that Dermastream has already passed clinical trials in Israeli hospitals and may be available in the U.S. within the next year.
Dermastream employs a special solution developed at Freeman's TAU laboratory, thus offering a new approach to chronic wound care- a specialty known as "continuous streaming therapy."
"Our basic idea is simple. We treat the wound by streaming a solution in a continuous manner. Traditional methods require wound scraping to remove necrotic tissue. That is expensive, painful and extremely uncomfortable to the patient.
And while active ingredients applied with bandages on a wound may work for a couple of hours, after that the wound fights back. The bacteria build up again, creating a tedious and long battle," said Freeman.
Dermastream "flows" under a plastic cover that seals the wound, providing negative pressure that promotes faster healing.
The active biological ingredient, delivered in a hypertonic medium, works to heal hard-to-shake chronic wounds.
Freeman said that while traditional bandaging methods may take months to become fully effective, Dermastream can heal chronic wounds in weeks.
Dermastream is intended for use in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics and homecare.
Freeman has founded a company that is currently collaborating with a Veterans Association hospital in Tucson, AZ, to bring the technology to the U.S. market.
"My solution helps doctors regain control of the chronic wound, making management more efficient, and vastly improving the quality of their patients' lives," concluded Freeman.