Students of the National Polytechnic Institute created a dermal patch, which will help reverse the rate of amputations associated with diabetic foot, a serious complication of Diabetes Mellitus, the second cause of death in Mexico.
According to scientists, the skin patch is capable of accelerating the healing of wounds and ulcers caused by the condition, in addition to eliminating infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics that hinder the action of treatments.
It is made from biopolymers that act as coadjuvants in the healing process. In addition, it contains a bioactive agent that functions as predatory bacterium of other pathogenic bacteria, eliminating a great diversity of microorganisms present in diabetic foot wounds, including those that are resistant to antibiotics, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae.
The scientist of the Center for Genomic Biotechnology (CBG), Christian Mariel Saenz Santos, who was in charge of the invention, stressed that the patch is resorbable and once it is placed in the wound it will not be necessary to remove it.
“By having this feature will avoid breaking down granulation tissue that the body is creating as part of the healing process; the patch also acts as a barrier to prevent microorganisms from entering the wound,” he said.
Diabetics in Mexico
According to figures provided by health institutions, educational and civil associations, in the event “Alliance for the Diabetic Foot”, recently organized by the Health Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, in Mexico there are 100,000 people who suffered an amputation in some of their lower extremities because of diabetes.
Given this situation, the contribution of Saenz Santos represents a feasible alternative to address this increasing health problem, implying a growing investment by public health institutions.
For the contribution that this research represents, a patent registry is in process at the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI). Saenz Santos highlighted that the skin patch represents a new option to solve or control diabetic foot infections, which are currently treated with antibiotics.
Despite this, he noted that “the increase in bacterial resistance often complicates the treatments and the evolution of the lesions requires the dissection of the limb.”
He explained that the skin patch is a very important medical alternative to treat diabetic foot; however, when the injuries are serious and there is gangrene, it is difficult to achieve a favourable evolution. “Depending on the situation of each patient, the specialist doctor would determine the combination of antibiotics and the patch or only the application of the latter,” he explained.
The scientist emphasized that the presence of high levels of glucose in the blood increases the time that the wounds of diabetic take to heal in comparison with a normal individual. “If we add the presence of an infection, the situation gets complicated, but when the microorganism is drug-resistant the health problem becomes chronic, which we hope to reduce in the medium term with the skin patch, which we anticipate will have an accessible cost, to benefit all the people who require it,” he said.
Saenz Santos explained that the preclinical tests were carried out with animal models. “When performing the experiments we observed that in the diabetic rodents treated with the dermal patch, the healing process was similar to that observed in healthy rodents, since in those diabetic animals that only received antibiotic treatment, the healing process was slower,” explained the scientist.
Finally, the scientist of the Genomic Biotechnology Center mentioned that links with hospitals will be sought to initiate the clinical stage and evaluate treatment in patients with diabetic foot disease.
Source: La Jornada