Plasma-coated Australian bandages to revolutionize treatment of wounds

CANBERRA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Australian researchers have developed plasma-coated bandages capable of attacking infection and inflammation in a "world-first".

According to researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA), the bandages, which are coated in a special antioxidant, could revolutionize the treatment of chronic wounds.

Almost half a million Australians suffer from chronic wounds, costing the health system an estimated three billion Australian dollars (2.1 billion U.S. dollars) every year.

Thomas Michl, the lead researcher from UniSA, said that applying the coating to dressings would significantly reduce patient suffering and promote effective healing.

"Proper care for chronic wounds requires frequent changes of wound dressings but currently, these wound dressings are passive actors in wound management," he said in a media release Saturday.

"Our novel coatings change this, turning any wound dressing into an active participant in the healing process -- not only covering and protecting the wound, but also knocking down excessive inflammation and infection.

Researchers said that with growing rates of global obesity, diabetes and an ageing population, chronic wounds are increasingly affecting large proportions of the general population, yet until this breakthrough discovery, few treatments have shown such positive results.

According to UniSA, more than 5.7 million people in the U.S, and two million in Britain suffer from chronic wounds, costing their economies billions of dollars.

Michl's team has progressed to testing the shelf-life of the antioxidant coating with "encouraging results."

With clinical trials to follow, researchers are optimistic that products will be potentially available in two to three years.

Australia's wound awareness week, which aims to spread the awareness of chronic wounds, will be held from August 17-23.

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