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Skin Substitute Provides the Building Blocks for Wound Repair

By January 30, 2018No Comments

A new product developed in BC by Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) scientist Dr. Aziz Ghahary may solve the painful health burden of slow healing wounds. These wounds include pressure ulcers (or bedsores), large burns, and diabetic sores. They are very costly to treat. In BC alone, the cost of treating pressure ulcers in spinal cord patients is about $50 million per year. Pressure ulcers come from hours spent immobile in wheelchairs or in bed. Circulation becomes cut off, tissue is destroyed, and the resulting wounds are deep and painful. Actor Christopher Reeves (Superman) is reported to have died from pressure ulcers that became infected.

Ghahary’s new MeshFill product could cut stave off wound infection, reduce treatment times (and costly hospital stays) and improve healing outcomes for hard-to-heal wounds. MeshFill is a liquid skin substitute that has performed well in lab testing. Ghahary received a 2017 VCHRI Innovation and Translational award for MeshFill and just received approval to test the product on a group of spinal cord patients at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). He believes it will be a game-changer.

“When spinal cord patients develop pressure ulcers, it can have significant negative impact on their quality of life. Many can’t go out and socialize or work. Some of them say the ulcers are worse than the paralysis because they are in so much pain and unable to heal. MeshFill may be a cost-effective answer to improve their situation.”