Dr. Manuela Martins-Green and PhD candidate Sandeep Dhall have started a project to develop a diagnostic tool called a “gene chip.” The chip would provide accurate diagnostic tests for chronic “non-healing” wounds. The gene chip can predict how a patient’s chronic wound should be treated in order to increase the chance of healing. If the WoundCure chip project is successful, it could potentially treat millions of people who are affected with bed sores, skin ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers and other related chronic wounds.
Martins-Green and Dhall say that chronic wounds affect an average of 6.5M people and cost roughly $25 billion a year in the U.S. The WoundCure chip data could steer doctors toward effective treatment plans so that wounds can heal properly. Many times, the solution to chronic wounds is to amputate the affected limbs. Open sores are also more prone to infection, which can potentially spread throughout the body.
The WoundCure chip data will be an excellent tool that will allow doctors to quickly determine which wounds require aggressive treatment. The chip will identify which genes have been altered, thus providing quick diagnosis and proper treatment. In an interview with Dr. Martins-Green, she goes more in detail about how the chip works. She explains that, “If the expression of the gene is elevated, it will show red. If it’s not regulated, it will show green. If you use the chip with a wound, the prediction is that the more red the more serious the wound will be.”
The researchers behind this innovative tool are hopeful that it will be a positive impact on tens of millions of people affected by chronic wounds. For the WoundCure chip to actually happen, Martins-Green and Dhall will need to reach their funding target for this project. Those interested in learning more and supporting their research can visit their crowd funding page.
– Daphne Jeon
Sources: Microryza, Motherboard