Spray-on skin cells could help heal chronic leg ulcers, or open wounds, better than traditional methods, a new study shows.
The spray-on cells, a mixture of cells called keratinocytes and a protein bonding agent called fibroblasts, proved more effective for healing the ulcers than long-term bandages - the traditional method - in a recent double-blind study.
Researchers, testing two groups - one using the spray-on skin, another given a placebo - found that 70 percent using the new method were healed after three months compared with 46 percent who received the placebo. No serious side effects were recorded.
"The treatment we tested in this study has the potential to vastly improve recovery times and overall recovery from leg ulcers, without the need for a skin graft," said study co-author Dr. Herbert Slade.
"This means not only that the patient doesn't acquire a new wound where the graft is taken from, but also that the spray-on solution can be available as soon as required - skin grafts take a certain amount of time to prepare, which exposes the patient to further discomfort and risk of infection."
Leg ulcers, which form when blood pressure builds up in the leg and ruptures the skin, affect a significant portion of the elderly U.S. population. The traditional treatment, using compression bandages from long periods of time, is successful for fewer than three-quarters of leg sores.
The results of the study can be found in the August 3 edition of the journal the Lancet.
by RTT Staff Writer
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