WHAT IS REGENERATIVE MEDICINE?
Regenerative Medicine encompasses many medical fields – Orthopedics and Spine Surgery, Sports Medicine, Gynecology, Urology, Oncology, Dermatology, Plastic surgery, Vascular Surgery, Cardiac surgery, etc.
Regenerative Medicine is the branch of medicine that develops methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues. Regenerative medicine includes the generation and use of therapeutic stem cells, tissue engineering and the production of artificial organs. It uses autologous blood, bone marrow or adipose components to stimulate the body’s own repair processes. A common source for regenerative cells and growth factors are bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), platelet rich plasma (obtained from one’s own blood) and adipose derived stem cells.
WHAT IS WOUND?
A wound is a type of injury which happens relatively quickly in which skin is torn, cut, or punctured (an open wound), or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion (a closed wound). In pathology, it specifically refers to a sharp injury which damages the Epidermis of the skin.
According to level of contamination, a wound can be classified as:
- Clean wound – made under sterile conditions where there are no organisms present, and the skin is likely to heal without complications.
- Contaminated wound – usually resulting from accidental injury; there are pathogenic organisms and foreign bodies in the wound.
- Infected wound – the wound has pathogenic organisms present and multiplying, exhibiting clinical signs of infection (yellow appearance, soreness, redness, oozing pus).
- Colonized wound – a chronic situation, containing pathogenic organisms, difficult to heal (i.e. bedsore).
Open wounds can be classified according to the object that caused the wound:
- Incisions or incised wounds – caused by a clean, sharp-edged object such as a knife, razor, or glass splinter.
- Lacerations – irregular tear-like wounds caused by some blunt trauma. Lacerations and incisions may appear linear (regular) or stellate (irregular). The term laceration is commonly misused in reference to incisions.
- Abrasions (grazes) – superficial wounds in which the topmost layer of the skin (the epidermis) is scraped off. Abrasions are often caused by a sliding fall onto a rough surface such as asphalt, tree bark or concrete.
- Avulsions – injuries in which a body structure is forcibly detached from its normal point of insertion. A type of amputation where the extremity is pulled off rather than cut off. When used in reference to skin avulsions, the term ‘degloving’ is also sometimes used as a synonym.
- Puncture wounds – caused by an object puncturing the skin, such as a splinter, nail or needle.
- Penetration wounds – caused by an object such as a knife entering and coming out from the skin.
- Gunshot wounds – caused by a bullet or similar projectile driving into or through the body. There may be two wounds, one at the site of entry and one at the site of exit, generally referred to as a “through-and-through.”
Closed wounds have fewer categories, but are just as dangerous as open wounds:
- Hematomas (or blood tumor) – caused by damage to a blood vessel that in turn causes blood to collect under the skin.
- Hematomas that originate from internal blood vessel pathology are petechiae, purpura, and ecchymosis. The different classifications are based on size.
- Hematomas that originate from an external source of trauma are contusions, also commonly called bruises.
- Crush injury – caused by a great or extreme amount of force applied over a long period of time.
Bacterial infection of wound can impede the healing process and lead to life-threatening complications. Scientists at Sheffield University have used light to rapidly detect the presence of bacteria, by developing a portable kit in which specially designed molecules emit a light signal when bound to bacteria. Current laboratory-based detection of bacteria can take hours or days.
Wounds that are not healing should be investigated to find the causes; many microbiological agents may be responsible. The basic workup includes evaluating the wound, its extent and severity. Cultures are usually obtained both from the wound site and blood. X-rays are obtained and a tetanus shot may be administered if there is any doubt about prior vaccination.
Non-healing wounds of the diabetic foot are considered one of the most significant complications of diabetes, representing a major worldwide medical, social, and economic burden that greatly affects patient quality of life. Almost 24 million Americans—one in every twelve—are diabetic and the disease is causing widespread disability and death at an epidemic pace, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those with diabetes, 6.5 million are estimated to suffer with chronic or non-healing wounds. Associated with inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins, and immobility, non-healing wounds occur most frequently in the elderly and in people with diabetes—populations that are sharply rising as the nation ages and chronic diseases increase.
Although diabetes can ravage the body in many ways, non-healing ulcers on the feet and lower legs are common outward manifestations of the disease. Also, diabetics often suffer from nerve damage in their feet and legs, allowing small wounds or irritations to develop without awareness. Given the abnormalities of the microvasculature and other side effects of diabetes, these wounds take a long time to heal and require a specialized treatment approach for proper healing.
- BMAC critical limb ischemia