Wound healing can be a problem, especially for the very old and for people with diabetes. Furthermore, people who have to stay in the hospital for any length of time are prone to bed sores and skin ulcers that could cause serious infections if left untreated. A group of researchers at the University of Sheffield and the University of Bristol have developed a medical device that has sped up the wound healing process in mouse studies. The device has sped up the healing process for aged and diabetic mice by 30 percent, according to Gizmag.
When a person sustains an injury, such as a cut to the skin, connective tissue cells called fibroblasts migrate to the site of the wound and start the healing process. However, skin conditions for the old and diabetic tend to prevent this migration, slowing and even stopping the healing process.
The British researchers found that low-intensity ultrasound creates new pathways for fibroblast migration to the wound and stimulates cells to move to the site to start the healing. The beauty of this device is that it stimulates what is already a natural process, thus there are little or no chances of complications, such as sometimes occurs when drugs are used.
One can see applications for the ultrasound medical device for recovery from severe trauma as well as from surgery. The researchers plan to move on to human trials while continuing to improve the healing effects as soon as possible with the goal of making the device available in a clinical setting in three to four years.
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