Diabetic foot ulcers can take up to 150 days to heal. A biomedical engineering team wants to reduce it to 21 days.
They’re planning to drop the healing time by amplifying what the body already does naturally: build layers of new tissue pumped up by nitric oxide. In patients with diabetes, impaired nitric oxide production lessens the healing power of skin cells, and the Centers for Disease Control reports that 15 percent of Americans living with Type 2 diabetes struggle with hard-to-heal foot ulcers. However, simply pumping up nitric oxide is not necessarily better. The long-term plan of Michigan Technological University researchers is to create nitric oxide-infused bandages that adjust the chemical release depending on the cell conditions.
To do that, the researchers first have to figure what’s going on with nitric oxide in skin cells. Assessing nitric oxide under diabetic and normal conditions in human dermal fibroblast cells is the focus of the team’s latest paper, published this week in Medical Sciences (DOI: 10.3390/medsci6040099).
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