People with 70 percent burns die from related and secondary infections despite the best efforts of doctors and nurses and advances in medicine. But a revolutionary dressing developed at Tel Aviv University (TAU) eradicates infection by killing bacteria and preventing deaths in burn injuries.
Meital Zilberman, TAU professor in biomedical engineering, has developed a new wound dressing based on fibres which can be loaded with antibiotics to speed up healing, and then dissolve when they’ve done their job.
“We’ve developed the first wound dressing that both releases antibiotic drugs and biodegrades in a controlled manner,” says Zilberman.
While the concept is simple, the technology is not. Skin, Zilberman explains, serves a number of vastly different purposes.
“Wound dressings must maintain a certain level of moisture while acting as a shield,” she says.
“Like skin, they must also enable fluids from the wound to leave the infected tissue at a certain rate. It can’t be too fast or too slow. If too fast, the wound will dry out and it won’t heal properly. If too slow, there’s a real risk of increased contamination.” she added.
Zilberman’s new wound dressing, which does not yet have a formal name, is designed to mimic skin and the way it protects the body, says a TAU release.
“People who suffer from large burns don’t usually die from the condition itself. The fatal culprits are the secondary bacterial infections that invade the body through these vulnerable burned areas,” says Zilberman.