WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Diabetes can cause ulcers that patients do not even notice or notice until the blood is seen. And because ulcers can not be cured alone, between 14 and 24 percent of diabetics in the US UU That experience them end up losing the toes, feet or legs.
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a shoe template that could help make the healing process more portable for 15 percent of Americans who develop ulcers as a result of diabetes.
"One of the ways to heal these wounds is by giving them oxygen," said Babak Ziaie, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue. "We have created a system that releases oxygen gradually throughout the day so that the patient has more mobility."
Diabetic ulcers are usually the result of nerves that damage blood sugar, which eliminates the sensation of the fingers or feet.
Without the ability to feel pain, bumps and bumps tend to go unnoticed and the skin tissue breaks down, forming ulcers. A large amount of sugar in the bloodstream, along with dry skin as a result of diabetes, further delays the healing process of the ulcer.
"Usually, we treat ulcers by removing devitalized tissue from the wound surface and helping the patient find ways to remove the weight of the affected foot," said Desmond Bell, chiropodist in wound management and prevention of amputations in the Memorial Hospital. in Jacksonville, Florida, and the founder of Save a Leg, Save a Life Foundation.
"The gold standard for treating an ulcer is a patient who uses a total contact cast, which provides a protective environment for the foot, if we could test how well this template delivers oxygen to the wound site from the cast, then This could be a way to help the healing process, "he said.
The Purdue researchers used lasers to mold the silicone-based rubber into templates, and then create deposits that release oxygen only in the part of the foot where the ulcer is located. A YouTube video is available at https://youtu.be/DX30YU5rmUM.
The work aligns with the celebration of Purdue giant jumps, recognizing the university's global advances in health, longevity and quality of life as part of Purdue's 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the One Year Celebration Ideas Festival, designed to show Purdue as an intellectual center that solves real-world problems.
"Silicone is flexible and has good oxygen permeability," said Hongjie Jiang, a postdoctoral researcher in electrical and computer engineering. "Laser machining helps us adjust that permeability and aim only at the site of the wound, which is hypoxic, instead of poisoning the rest of the foot with too much oxygen."
According to team simulations, the template can deliver oxygen at least eight hours a day under pressure from someone weighing about 53-81 kilograms (117-179 pounds). But the researchers claim that the template can be customized so that it acquires any weight.
The team visualizes a manufacturer sending to a patient a package of customized pre-filled templates for the site of his wound, based on a "wound profile" obtained from a medical prescription and a foot image.
"This is a mbadive low-cost customization," said Vaibhav Jain, a recent graduate of Purdue's master's program in mechanical engineering and a current research badociate in electrical engineering and information technology.
Then, researchers want to create a way to 3D print the entire template, instead of first printing a mold and then laser-machining a pattern. They also plan to test the template in real diabetic ulcers, to more accurately badess how well they advance in the healing process.
"We want to bring this technology to the user by addressing the technical aspects necessary to simplify the flow of manufacturing," said Jain.
The team published its work in the September issue of the Communications from the research society of materials, a Cambridge Core magazine. Funding for this work was provided by the NextFlex PC 1.0 Project.
A patent is pending on the technology of the template. The team is currently looking for corporate partners.