A research team at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) has created a borate glass nanofiber material, which could help heal long-standing wounds in venous stasis wound patients. Clinical tests of the material were recently conducted at a health care center in Rolla, Missouri.
The research paper was released in the American Ceramic Society's Bulletin magazine. The research began in late 2010 under the guidance of the internal review board of PCRMC. 12 volunteers participated in the trials. PCRMC nurse Peggy Taylor who administered the therapies says all volunteers agreed to the use of the glass fiber material, which resembled cotton candy. All patients were diabetic, and most had wounds unhealed for over a year. One patient had had the wound for three years. The skin on the wounds of eight patients was attended to after the product had been used over a few months.
The patients were afflicted with venous stasis, which is an ailment involving poor blood circulation especially in places like lower legs. The accumulation of fluids results in abnormally high pressure being applied on skin tissues. In case of any skin cracks, abrasions or cuts, the fluid tends to “weep” resulting in deep wounds mostly due to an enzyme present in the “weeping” fluid. Tiny bruises may result in bone-deep wounds.
Steve Jung, a glass scientist and Delbert Day had wanted to discover a different bioactive glass material for soft-tissue restoration. With the help of the results from the previous experiments, the team used borate glass composition named 13-93B3 glass. Mo-Sci, a start-up company established by Day, incorporated the composition into cottony glass fibers, measuring 300nm to 5 micrometers in diameter. The company received a patent for the product after successful testing on animals. The borate glass material was named as ‘DermaFuse’, and Mo-Sci contacted PCRMC to commence the human trials.
The trial was approved in July 2010. A few foil-sealed sachets of pads comprising glass fibers were provided to the nurse. According to her, the product can be easily picked up, molded and placed in the wound with tweezers to ensure filling up all the recesses. After applying the fibers, a shield or compression wrap is covered on the wound. The glass fibers vanished over time effectively healing the wounds. An exclusive feature of this product is that it does not leave scars.