Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Infection-fighting bandages for serious burns

25.02.2016

EPFL helped develop a technology aimed at reducing the death rate among victims of serious burns

Serious burn victims are immunocompromised and may be missing skin on parts of their body, and this makes them highly vulnerable to bacteria. Thanks to progress in intensive care, they are decreasingly likely to die from burn trauma. Death is more commonly the result of infections that can occur several months after being hospitalized. The bandages used to treat burns actually represent a real breeding ground for microbes.


Infection-fighting bandage for the treatment of severe burns.

Credit: © Murielle Michetti

To combat these bacteria, which are increasingly antibiotic-resistant, a consortium of Swiss researchers worked on a biological bandage able to accelerate the scarring process and, ultimately, prevent bacteria from multiplying.

The researchers focused on the formidable bacterium called Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the main cause of infections and death among serious burn victims. An article describing the new bandage, which was developed in part at EPFL, has just been published in Scientific Reports.

The technology is based on a biodegradable bandage made of animal collagen and 'progenitor' cells that can multiply quickly. First developed by the CHUV in 2005, these bandages hastened the healing process but did nothing to protect against microbes.

The researchers have now demonstrated that by combining these biological bandages with special molecules called dendrimers, it would be possible to not only speed up healing but also to put a stop to infections.

Halting bacterial proliferation

The bandage consists of a strip of gauze made from collagen to which progenitor cells and dendrimers have been added. When the bandage is placed on a bacteria-infected site, some of the dendrimers migrate and destroy the microbes located in the direct vicinity of the bandage. Other dendrimers remain inside the bandage.

"Bandages are a favorable environment for bacterial growth," said Dominique Pioletti, the head of EPFL's Laboratory of Biomechanical Orthopedics. "So some dendrimers have to remain in the bandage to destroy any intruders." With his team, the researcher's task was to find a way to incorporate dendrimers in the biological bandage. He then observed how the bacteria interacted with the new bandage.

Cutting the death rate

For hospital burn specialists, this technology meets an urgent need. "Currently, we have to take enormous precautions with our patients," said Lee Ann Laurent-Applegate, the head of the Regenerative Therapy Unit at the CHUV. "The bandages, which sometimes cover most parts of the body, need to be changed every day for several months. Yet that does not stop infections. And we cannot prescribe antibiotics to all patients as a preventive measure for fear of making the bacteria more resistant. With the new bandages, rather than treating infections, we will be preventing them. We are nipping the problem in the bud."

The new bandage will be tested in Zurich before they can be used in clinics.

###

This study is part of a research platform sponsored by SwissTransMed and led by Lee Ann Laurent-Applegate, the head of the Regenerative Therapy Unit at the CHUV, and Wassim Raffoul, the head of Plastic and Hand Surgery at the CHUV.

The platform brings together leading Swiss institutions specializing in serious burns. It includes the CHUV Burn Center, the Burn Center at Zurich University Hospital, EPFL, the University of Lausanne, the University of Geneva, the Geneva University Hospitals and the University of Bern.

Each of the participants played a role in a key stage of the project reported on in Scientific Reports.

Article in Scientific Reports: Anti-Microbial Dendrimers against Multidrug-Resistant P. aeruginosa Enhance the Angiogenic Effect of Biological Burn-wound Bandages

Media Contact

Dominique Pioletti
dominique.pioletti@epfl.ch
41-216-938-341

 @EPFL_en

http://www.epfl.ch/index.en.html 

Dominique Pioletti | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: EPFL Polytechnique aeruginosa bandage infections microbes progenitor progenitor cells

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pressure tuned magnetism paves the way for novel electronic devices

18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

New type of low-energy nanolaser that shines in all directions

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>