1. Section Editor(s): Hess, Cathy Thomas BSN, RN, CWOCN

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Hydrophilix Corporation, Saco, ME, has developed CoFoam Polyurethane Composite, a specialty grade of hydrophilic polyurethane for use in medical devices, including wound care. CoFoam combines the biocompatibility and controlled release properties of hydrophilic polyurethane with the structural, flow-through, and strength of a hydrophobic polyurethane, which serves as the reservoir for exuded fluids.


A multidisciplinary team of scientists at Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, has developed several biomaterials based on human keratin proteins. The new materials-keratin-based hydrogels, elastomers, and coatings-are the result of a 12-month program funded internally by the institute. The research focused on chemically modifying human hair keratins and processing them into biomaterials with tailored chemical, physical, and biologic properties. The new materials have many uses, including wound healing, coatings for medical implants, soft tissue augmentation, drug delivery, cellular and protein therapy delivery, and matrices and scaffolds for tissue engineering. Data from recent wound healing trials suggest that tissue repair in animals occurs 3 to 4 times faster in the presence of a keratin wound dressing.


BSN-JOBST, Inc, Charlotte, NC, has launched a latex-free packaging design for its line of Coverlet fabric adhesive dressings. Combining innovative latex-free envelopes with an existing latex-free product portfolio increases the hypoallergenic advantage of Coverlet products and eliminates the risk of latex allergy reactions. Features of the Coverlet portfolio of wound care products include 360-degree adhesive coverage around island wound pads to seal off wounds from contamination. The line includes a portfolio of 11 distinct shapes and sizes.



Avitar, Inc, Canton, MA, has signed a collaborative research agreement with Defence R&D Canada-Toronto (DRDC Toronto) to jointly develop a new generation of biomedical dressings for wound care. The objective of the 18-month collaboration is to produce a composite dressing utilizing Avitar's proprietary polyurethane technologies and DRDC Toronto's innovative product designs.


Advanced Medical Solutions Group PLC (AMS), Winsford, UK, has formed a global collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Wound Management, a division of ETHICON, Inc, Raritan, NJ, to supply a range of patented calcium alginate-based products for initial launch into the North American market. The alginate advanced wound care dressings will be marketed by Johnson & Johnson Wound Management under the NU-DERM Alginate Wound Dressing brand.


LAM Pharmaceutical Corporation, Lewiston, NY, has appointed Industria Farmaceutica Andromaco S.A. de CV, Mexico City, Mexico, as the exclusive distributor of its patented LAM IPM Wound Gel in Mexico. In accordance with Mexican legal and regulatory requirements, LAM has appointed Andromaco as its legal representative for the purpose of Mexican marketing authorization. This distribution agreement is important for the purpose of dealing with government agencies responsible for the purchase of pharmaceuticals for 55 million Mexican residents.


DFB Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Fort Worth, TX, and its affiliate, HEALTHPOINT, Ltd, have signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the United States Air Force at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. DFB has outfitted a laboratory to meet the needs for basic and applied scientific research for HEALTHPOINT and its tissue management, dermatology, and infection prevention divisions. This lab will provide a platform for the refinement of products that have been formulated at another DFB Pharmaceuticals affiliate, DPT Laboratories, San Antonio, TX.



A survey of 500 adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes showed that 26% had never heard of diabetic foot ulcers, another 21% said they did not know very much about them, and 2% said they knew "nothing at all" about them. Called "Diabetes and Your Feet," the on-line survey was conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Podiatric Medical Association and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc, Raritan, NJ. The survey averaged 14 minutes and was conducted from February 14 to 21, 2002.


Many of those surveyed (42%) who had been treated for a diabetic foot ulcer, said their ulcer took up to 6 months to heal. An equally large number described their foot ulcer or its treatment as having a very big impact on their daily activities. In addition, the survey showed that many people do not follow proper foot care, such as inspecting their feet every day and getting regular foot exams. Specifically, the survey found that:


* 39% did not examine their feet daily.


* 40% of those that examined their feet would not get a blister or cut checked out unless it was causing them pain.


* 89% saw their endocrinologist for a checkup in the last year; 43% said this physician did not examine their feet during the visit and 15% said he or she has never examined their feet.