One topic I and other ACerS staff frequently get asked about relates to a story from last April about the special healing borate-based glass fiber pads developed by glass scientists Delbert Day and Steve Jung in conjunction with MoSci Corp., a Rolla, Mo.-based glass products company. The news last year was that the glass fiber product, dubbed DermaFuse by MoSci, helped speed the healing of venous stasis ulcers in a majority of patients enrolled in a small human clinical test group of adult diabetics supervised by the internal review board of the Phelps County Regional Medical Center.
Most of the inquiries that come to me are from people who either are suffering with hard-to-heal skin ulcers or sores themselves or are reaching out to me on behalf of friends or family members who have the condition. Their questions are all pretty much along the lines of, “How can I or my doctors get my/their hands on DermaFuse?”
Up until just recently, I had to disappoint a lot of people because MoSci mainly does the R&D for glass products, and then licenses or reaches a supply agreement with third-party commercial companies and institutions, which then shepherd the products through regulatory processes and handle marketing and distribution. And, from what I understand, there are still testing, certification and agreements with distributors that need to be completed before it is authorized for human use.
However, the significant news is that Avalon Medical Ltd. has arranged for the DermaFuse material to be classified as “veterinary medical device” and is now marketing the product under the Rediheal brand to the veterinary and animal care marketplace.
According to the Rediheal website, the company is making the product for various size animals (“Equine version now available”) and is also offering a putty-like version of the product that can be shaped for bone healing.
While the story I originally wrote focused on a case study of human patients with venous stasis ulcers, it appears that Dermifuse/Rediheal material works shockingly well on many types of wounds. For example, the Rediheal website has several amazing animal case studies including large and small lacerations, dental void packing and gunshot wounds. (Warning – photos are not for the squeamish!)
In regard the gunshot wound case, a dog sustained at 42-square-inch wound in its back that was treated with Rediheal. According the company, the wound shrunk rapidly, and 40 days later it was nearly healed.
For me, one of the most jarring things about the gunshot wound is that there appears to be almost no scarring (see for yourself), and the dog’s fur seems to have completely regrown (albeit in a lighter color).
More information and case studies are on a special Rediheal/Avalon Facebook page, including successful efforts to heal injured green sea turtles at Jekyll Island, Ga.
One final note: Day and Jung (along with Mohamed N. Rahaman, B. Sonny Bal, Qiang Fu, Lynda F. Bonewald and Antoni P. Tomsia) also published a paper on this topic last summer in Acta Biomaterialia (doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2011.03.016), titled “Bioactive glass in tissue engineering.”