Israeli startup Nanomedic Technologies Ltd. has developed a medical device that it says can dress burns and other wounds with nano materials that mimic human tissue and peel off once the skin below is regenerated.
The temporary and transparent skin layer that the device generates can be applied without touching the charred skin, helping prevent infections. The product, called SpinCare, can be operated by physicians and other medical staff working in hospitals or clinics or providing home care, the startup says.
The transparency of the layer allows doctors to monitor the wound as it heals, and the treatment does not require any further dressing, a process that can be painful, the company says.
Some 180,000 deaths occur each year worldwide because of burn wounds, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates. In Israel, there were around 3,300 burn wound deaths in 2017, with 84 percent of accidents occurring in the domestic environment, according to the Health Ministry.
Nanomedic’s CEO Chen Barak said in a phone interview that the company’s patent-protected technology, electrospinning, is a process that creates nanofibers — fibers whose diameters are measured in nanometers — by applying a strong electric field to threads of natural or synthetic polymer solutions. These fibers tight-knit together in layers, creating a nanofibrous mat that mimics skin tissue and helps protect the surface it is lying on, and fosters the regeneration of lost tissue, Barak explained.
The product consists of a lightweight gun-shaped device and a “spin-kit” of disposable ampules containing a polymer solution. The polymer solution — in which the dissolved polymers can be either natural or synthetic — can be combined with various additives according to the nature of the wound and the patient’s needs: antibacterial creams, antibiotics, collagen, silicon, hydrogel, and cannabinoids.
The main innovation is in the “miniaturized” size of the device, which makes it portable and easy to maneuver, Barak said.
The device is held with two hands, and activated via two buttons. The “gun” is pointed at the wound from a distance of about 20 centimeters, or eight inches, and one ampule is “fired.”
The proprietary polymer substance hits the wound, where it instantly turns into a nano-fibrous white dressing that works as a sterilized artificial skin, the company said.
The device “manufactures nanofibers directly on the wound without touching it,” Barak said, pointing out that this method of dressing wounds reduces the pain involved as well as the risk of causing infection.
The whole treatment can last 30 seconds or a minute depending on the size of the area that needs to be covered, she said. The layer needs to be applied just once at the point of care, and remains in place until new epidermal tissue has grown underneath, a process that can take one to three weeks. When the new tissue is regenerated, “the artificial skin peels off naturally and painlessly,” she said.
Meanwhile, patients can take showers one to two days after the treatment; — in most burn cases dressings need to be removed and changed to do so.
The treatment “is intended for any kind of wounds that need medical treatment,” including surgical and chronic lesions, Barak said.
She added that the product was originally developed for hospitals and points of care, but its use can be extended to emergency situations, becoming part of ambulance or fire-fighting kits, or even war zones.
With its product, Nanomedic is targeting a global wound treatment market that according to consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan will be worth $22 billion by 2022, the release said, adding that while seeking FDA approval, SpinCare has gained the CE mark and can be distributed in Europe.
The device has been used on more than 100 patients in clinical studies in Israel in such major medical centers as Sheba Medical Center, Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and Rambam hospital in Haifa, as well as several in in Europe.
“We have not launched the device yet, but we’ll try to do that in the second half of 2019,” Barak said.
Lod-based Nanomedic Technologies, which employs approximately eight people, is a subsidiary of Nicast, a company focusing on the production of medical devices that use electrospinning technology to provide vascular grafts, wound dressing, and drug delivery among other things.
“The idea to go into wound care came up when we were looking for additional applications for our electrospinning technology,” said Barak, who has more than 20 years of experience in the Israeli startups’ medical industry. She added that after some research, the company understood that its technology could be particularly suitable for treating wounds.
It took about six years, Barak said, but they managed to miniaturize the electrospinning machine and turn it into a portable device to treat patients in various environments.
“We are currently raising money through the (equity crowdfunding) OurCrowd platform,” Barak said, but refrained from disclosing other information on the company’s funding, except for being it in its first round of investment.
Asked about competitors, Barak said that to her knowledge, “SpinCare is the first and only portable electrospinning device in the market.”
Among other Israeli companies focusing on improving the treatment of burn and chronic wounds is MediWound Ltd, whose NexoBrid product is used to remove eschar — a piece of dead tissue — in adults with deep thermal burn wounds.