An MSU-led team is developing an inexpensive biopolymer dressing to heal injuries like diabetic foot ulcers that affect millions of patients all over the world.
Tens of millions of patients around the world suffer from persistent and potentially life-threatening wounds. These chronic wounds, which are also a leading cause of amputation, have treatments, but the cost of existing wound dressings can prevent them from reaching people in need.
"The existing efficient technologies are far too expensive for most health care systems, greatly limiting their use in a timely manner," said Morteza Mahmoudi, an assistant professor in the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and the Precision Health Program. "An economically accessible, practical and effective technology is needed."
A Michigan State University researcher is leading an international team of scientists to develop a low-cost, practical biopolymer dressing that helps heal chronic foot wounds.
To develop that new technology, Mahmoudi tapped into years of experience and expertise, having studied advanced materials to heal heart tissue, fight infections and support immune systems. But the team also kept an eye on cost, working to develop a product that could be made available to as many patients as possible, even in resource constrained markets.
"My goal is always to make something that works and is practical," Mahmoudi said. "I want to see my research become clinical products that help patients."
With his latest work, published in Molecular Pharmaceutics, Mahmoudi is getting closer to that goal. He is working with partners in the United Kingdom who have started a company to oversee the development and approval of the new technology.
"We are building an experienced and expert team in the U.K. who will be able to efficiently commercialize the dressing," Mahmoudi said. "The company has just won a very competitive Eurostar grant to accelerate product development."
Working with his collaborators, Mahmoudi conducted a small pilot trial of the wound dressing with 13 patients with chronic wounds, all of whom were cured, he said.
Patients with advanced chronic wounds - those which do not respond to traditional therapies - are estimated to number over 45 million globally, making this one of the world's most pressing and urgent health care needs, Mahmoudi said.
MEDICA-tradefair.com; Source: Michigan State University