Doctors in Israel, Europe and India have begun using an Israeli-developed device that enables them to spray a translucent skin substitute onto burns and wounds, replacing painful, restrictive bandages, the UK Guardian newspaper reported Monday.
The Spincare system, designed by Lod-based Nanomedic, uses a special medical gun to spin out the breathable, web-like nano-fiber material that attaches to the wounded area.
The flexible layer gives greater mobility to patients, often a key part of recovery from burns, and also allows them to shower, an activity that can be difficult with regular bandages. For doctors, the translucent layer enables examinations without contact with the sensitive spot.
Though the technique used by Spincare to spin the fibers has existed for years, it has never before been available in a device small and compact enough for doctors to easily bring it to a patient’s bed for application.
Five patients who were treated with the system at Britain’s Queen Victoria hospital in Sussex had positive results on superficial burns, according to Baljit Dheansa, a UK doctor who specializes in burns and scarring.
“You get your laser-guided weapon system,” Dheansa said, referring to a laser dot on the Spincare gun that helps doctors to aim the device. “You just spin.”
“Although it’s not absolutely novel in the sense that it’s a stick-on dressing that stays stuck, it’s novel way of applying it,” Dheansa said. “And in some respects, it’s probably a little bit easier.”
“With this kind of dressing, in the right circumstance, it just means the patient doesn’t have to learn about how to do dressings, and they are [a] bit more flexible and don’t have to worry so much. And sort of relax a bit more,” he said.
It was less effective in the treatment of deep burns, Dheansa told the newspaper, but noted that Nanomedic does not claim Spincare works on those kinds of injuries.
In the meantime, Queen Victoria Hospital has agreed to purchase some more Spincare capsules, Dheansa said.
“What we try as much as we can is to take a fairly independent view of these things,” he explained. “Although a company will say it does this and does this and does this, we’ve come in fairly innocently and independently and said, you say this but let’s actually see what it does.”
Initial use of the Spincare system has shown that it “does what it says on the tin,” he said.
Gary J Sagiv, Nanomedic’s vice president for marketing and sales, told The Guardian that a hospital in Germany has been using the product to treat facial wounds, while other medical centers have applied it to chronic foot sores that can develop for diabetes patients.
The price of the system varies depending on which country it is sold in, he said, asserting that it is more cost-effective than other advanced bandage-based methods.
According to Dheansa, there is debate in the medical community as to whether frequent changes of bandages is the best way to treat wounds, and some more advanced dressings already don’t need to be replaced as often as traditional bindings.
“Spincare is the same sort of concept – the idea of protecting a wound and letting nature do what it will do,” he said.