Veterinarians are always looking for new technologies and medications to assist with those wounds that are classified as “hard to heal”. A wound that has not healed despite many treatment attempts and approaches can be defined as “hard to heal” and can lead to months of slow healing, increased costs of bandaging supplies and medications, down time for the performance horse and even euthanasia in some more extreme cases. Much research has been done on the use of biological glass for tissue engineering and wound healing and products are now available for use in both human and veterinary medicine, yet it’s process and mechanism of healing is really not understood. In a recent research article, a wound dressing composed of borate bioactive glass that contained copper was tested both in vitro (using simulated body fluid) and in vivo (utilizing a rat model with full thickness skin wounds). The results of both phases of the study showed that borate bioactive glass containing copper shows much promise in its ability to stimulate angiogenesis (the formation of blood vessels) and in healing full thickness skin wounds.
Relevance: As a veterinarian, “hard to heal wounds” are a source of frustration so I am always on the look out for new/different approaches to them. A product that I came across, “RediHeal®” made by Avalon Medical, is one such product on the market that utilizes this this technology. They describe Rediheal as “a borated-based product that contains trace elements to promote a strong angiogenic response. The borate glass reacts with the body’s fluids quickly, releasing elements that stimulate the body to generate new blood vessels. This improves the blood suppy to the wound, allowing the body’s normal healing processes to take over.” It is in the form of putty that looks similar to cotton candy. Intriguing product and interesting technology. 🙂
Scientific Article: Zhao, S. et al “Wound dressings composed of copper-doped borate bioactive glass microfibers stimulate angiogenesis and heal full-thickness skin defects in a rodent model” Biomaterials, 2015, Jun:53:379-91. Epub 2015 Mar 19