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Thread: Is this a thing?

  1. #1

    Is this a thing?

    I have read that stem cells have been used for chronic slow/non healing wounds? If you or SCI nurse have had experience with this, I would appreciate input. This not a "cure" question.

  2. #2
    Not sure about stem cells, but if you research extracellular matrix and pig bladder you'll be amazed. They used it to regrow a mans finger tip.

  3. #3
    Thank you, I will

  4. #4
    Matrix dressings most often do not contain any cellular components, although some claim to have residual tissue growth factors in them (Epifix, for example). Matrix dressings are mostly just the collagen layer of an organ, and can be from either animal (pig: Matristem & Oasis or cow: Integra) or human (placenta: Epifix or Grafix) origin. They serve as a scaffold or "freeway" for your own fibroblasts to grow into the wound, and also as a structure to support the growth of capillaries for blood supply to the new tissue.

    Engineered skin is grown in tissue culture and is sometimes used for small wounds like diabetic foot ulcers. The one I am most familiar with is Apligraf which is grown from foreskins of circumcised babies.

    There are also wound care products made from the patient's own blood platelets which have shown some promise. This is called platelet rich fibrin matrix (PRFM), like Selphyl.

    Your wound care specialist should be familiar with these products and their use. All are EXPENSIVE and getting insurance to pay for them can be pretty difficult.


  5. #5
    Thank you SCI nurse. This is very helpful. At my next visit I will talk to wound doctor about this, an MRI to check for osteomyelitis, possible hyperbaric TX. It's been 1 yr on a wound vac, step forward, step back, still not closed. He very sanguine about about the whole thing, but he's not the one who's been in bed for a year. Thanks again

  6. #6
    Matrix dressings can be applied under a NPWT system (like the KCI VAC) but there are some very special ways the dressing needs to be done to maximize the effectiveness.


  7. #7
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    I think most of the blood platelets stem cell fixes are for ligament damage. I know a baseball pitcher had "prolotherapy" and was back pitching by the end of the season after an elbow injury. This is becoming the gold standard for fixing dog's legs after ruptured CCLs. It is slowly making its way to humans. Selphyl is very expensive and not many docs know how to use it yet from what I have heard.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  8. #8
    Thank you, I will bring this up.

  9. #9
    Thanks again SCI nurse.

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