Researchers pave way for new treatment for serious wounds

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A recent breakthrough could lead to more effective treatments for tenacious wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, according to a report in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles have discovered a way to stabilize one of the body's naturally occurring wound-healing agents, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). bFGF loses much of its effectiveness when outside the body. But by using a polymer that resembles heparin, a complex sugar that bFGF binds to, the UCLA researchers were able to keep bFGF stable in acidic environments resembling those in a wound.

The binding procedure means bFGF could be used to effectively treat even slow-healing wounds such as those in patients with diabetes.

Long-term care providers are eager not only to employ the most effective treatments available but to avoid clinical mishaps related to wound care. Angel McGarrity-Davis, CEO of AMD HealthCare Solution, and Steven Bowman, M.D., the organization's medical director, will speak about avoiding wound care mistakes as part of the seventh annual McKnight's Online Expo. Their webcast at 11 a.m. (EST) on March 21 will be one of five sessions over two days. Expo participants can attend at no cost for continuing education credits. Registration is ongoing at mcknights.com/expo2013.

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