A new study, among several new wound care developments, found hyperbaric therapy doesn’t help with chronic ulcers.

Like the patients it treats, the collective wound care industry is a living organism, ever expanding upward and onward. Innovations and breakthroughs seem to happen on a near daily basis, and it’s easy to lose track of the outstanding progress made by researchers across the globe. To better inform the public of medical science’s growing capabilities, here are some recent developments currently pushing the boundaries of effective wound healing technologies:

Stem cell dressings

According to a new study published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, researchers from the U.K.’s Newcastle University have found a novel way to deliver stem cells directly to wounds, thus greatly improving overall healing. The team suspended the cells in alginate dressing, which allows for a time-released schedule and much more adaptability. In an accompanying press release, the research collective said they’ve been able to speed up the healing process in both severe burns and pressure ulcers. Beyond that, these special bandages can be stored at much lower temperatures, thus prolonging their shelf life and helping to lower total costs. Though research is ongoing, the bandages could be available to the public in the future.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has limits

Though its been used in hospitals  worldwide, there has always been some debate surrounding the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Now, a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care states that HBOT simply doesn’t benefit chronic diabetic foot ulcers. Working with 103 subjects with a mean age of 61, the researchers found that HBOT had little impact on healing rates and the prevalence of amputation or overall wound assessment rankings didn’t vary much between the control group and those who received HBOT. Speaking with Medscape Medical News, lead author Dr. Ludwik Fedorko said there may be a small subset of people who can benefit from HBOT. However, it’s not enough for him to suggest continuing wide-scale use of HBOT.

4D printed objects

In recent years, 3D printed technology has exploded in popularity, with applications in everything from automotive manufacturing to food preparation. Live Science reported that scientists have made inroads with 4D technology, which could have huge implications in the wound care industry. Drawing inspiration from real-life orchids, 4D-printed structures made of unique hydrogels can grow and change shape. As it relates to wounds, these structures may be fitted with living cells, which can integrate into wounds and create vital tissue structures much faster. The technology could also be used to create new surgical tools less prone to infection since they’re made of biodegradable materials. There is no news about when the 4D tech may become commercially available.

Ask your clinician which Advanced Tissue products are best for your wound care needs.