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Necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial infection of the tissue under the skin that surrounds muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels. The bacteria most commonly get into the body through a break in the skin. Once in the body, the bacteria spread quickly and destroy the tissue they infect. Media reports often call them “flesh eating bacteria.” Unfortunately, necrotizing fasciitis can result in a loss of limbs and even death. Accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment, and prompt surgery are important to stopping this infection. Read More
The University of Texas at Arlington has patented a smart seat cushion that uses changes in air pressure to redistribute body weight and help prevent the painful ulcers caused by sitting for long periods of time in a wheelchair. The same technology can be used to create prosthetic liners that adapt their shape to accommodate changes in body volume during the day and maintain a comfortable fit for the prosthesis. Poor prosthetic fit can cause skin damage and create sores in the residual limb of the wearer. Read More
Purdue University researchers are testing whether a simple light-emitting diode array that is safe to use on human skin can be used to inactivate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, one of six 'high priority' pathogens that the World Health Organization has identified as an imminent threat to public health. Here the light shines above a 96-well plate in a bio-safety hood. Read More
Diabetic foot disease is a severe complication of neuropathy and/or peripheral vascular disease and can lead to chronic infection, foot ulcers, gangrene, and lower-limb amputation. Every year, about 1% to 4% of people with diabetes develop a new foot ulcer. A foot ulcer is the initial event in more than 85% of amputations performed on those with diabetes. Although the rate of foot and leg amputation has greatly declined over the past 2 decades, increasing awareness is essential because diabetes is the leading cause of lower-limb amputations in the United States. Read More