Fibrous glass material heals hard-to-treat diabetic wounds and ulcers, research finds

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A revolutionary borate glass nanofiber material appeared to speed up healing and repair long-term wounds in eight out of 12 diabetic patients with venous stasis wounds, according to new research.

In a study at Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla, MO, registered nurse Peggy Taylor enlisted 12 diabetic patients who had a non-healing venous stasis wound. All but one patient was elderly.

The glass fiber's manufacturer, Mo-Sci Corporation, provided Taylor with individual foil-sealed packets with the material, which resembles cotton candy and can be shaped by hand to fit in a wound. To fill in the narrower crevices of the wound, Taylor used tweezers to separate out smaller sections.

Since the fibers dissolve into the wound, repacking is needed. Within a few months, eight patients experienced complete healing with negligible scarring. The other four patients made similar progress, and Taylor expects their wounds to heal with time.

Taylor, who is a wound care expert, admitted that these wounds probably could have healed without the glass fibers. However, the only way to do that is by using an expensive vacuum-assisted system that patients must carry around with them at all times. More details of the study appear in The American Ceramic Society's Bulletin magazine.