Wound Healing Lab Collaborations

The Wound Healing Laboratory’s ever-widening scope of research has resulted in collaborations with other research groups. These strategic partnerships have allowed us to more fully achieve our goals.
Three of the most significant current collaborations are with:

  • The Center for the Engineering of Wound Prevention and Repair
  • The Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies
  • The Tissue Adhesive Center

Center for the Engineering of Wound Prevention and Repair

This center was jointly proposed by the Departments of Plastic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, and established with funds from a 3-year Whitaker Foundation grant. The Wound Healing Laboratory has been very active in our department’s collaboration with Biomedical Engineering to ensure the center’s success.

The center brings together medical students and engineering students to learn and conduct research with the ultimate goal of advancing basic knowledge and clinical practice in wound medicine to the point of eradicating chronic wounds and accelerating the repair of acute wounds. Our laboratory has been involved in the research projects of two master’s students and one doctoral candidate. At present, we have three other master’s students working with our laboratory through this center. Research projects with which we are involved include the following:

  • Development of a realistic pressure ulcer model for therapeutic testing
  • Use of lipid growth factor to stimulate cell proliferation and collagen synthesis
  • Evaluation of skin flap perfusion using blood flow imaging and computer simulations
  • Study of possible mechanisms by which magnets act to reduce tissue edema

Another component of this grant-funded program was the development of a new graduate-level course entitled Wound Prevention and Repair: Biology, Technology and Clinical Applications. Drs. Rodeheaver, Ratliff, and Gampper from the Department of Plastic Surgery joined Dr. Skalak from the Department of Biomedical Engineering to teach this course for the first time in Spring of 1998 to 10 graduate students studying biomedical engineering, sports medicine, physical therapy, and nursing.

Visit the Center for the Engineering of Wound Prevention and Repair website.

Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CSCAT)

Our department and CSCAT have initiated discussions about complementary therapies which may prove useful to particular plastic surgery patient populations. Currently, a clinical protocol is in development that will examine the utility of static magnetic therapy to reduce pain and edema in burn patients. Magnetic therapy is a non-invasive form of therapy that has been documented effective in numerous case studies for pain and edema reduction, but it needs to be investigated for various clinical populations in double-blinded clinical trials.

Concurrently, the Department of Plastic Surgery is also working to understand the mechanism by which magnetic therapy may impact edema through its collaborations with the Center for the Engineering of Wound Prevention and Repair. Through these collaborations, we hope to better understand those therapeutic modalities that may most benefit our patients.

Visit the CSCAT website.

Surgical Therapeutic Advancement Center (STAC)

Our wound healing laboratory has long been interested in the properties and uses of biological adhesives. Consequently, we have teamed with our clinical colleagues within the University to form a complete adhesive evaluation center.

Under the directorship of Dr. William Spotnitz, the Surgical Therapeutic Advancement Center can provide research collaboration with industry that runs the gamut from bench to bedside. This means that the members of STAC have the expertise to undertake basic research and development projects, conduct pre-clinical animal studies, conduct Phase I, II, III, and IV clinical trials, and assist in receiving FDA approval.

Visit the STAC website.