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Monday, November 23, 2009

Three new Israeli medical technologies

Another day, another three new Israeli medical technologyies. Here's one that deals with skin cancer.
A new Israeli invention allows cancerous tumors on the skin to be detected and examined before they become visible to the naked eye, Ben-Gurion University announced. In initial testing carried out in the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, the new instruments managed to identify several types of skin tumors, including melanoma. The findings were presented yesterday at the Israeli Union of Plastic Surgery conference in Tel Aviv.

Dermatologists and plastic surgeons usually diagnose skin tumors by the appearance of the tumor, normally with the naked eye, only rarely using a dermatoscope - a magnifying tool that allows tumors to be examined in detail.

The newly developed instrument, known as OSPI, uses safe levels of radiation, projected at the tumor and returned to the gadget, which measures its character, including its contours and spread. OSPI also uses liquid crystals to carry out the examination.
A second medical technology helps to dress burn wounds.
Despite advances in treatment regimens and the best efforts of nurses and doctors, about 70% of all people with severe burns die from related infections. But a revolutionary new wound dressing developed at Tel Aviv University could cut that number dramatically.

Prof. Meital Zilberman of TAU's Department of Biomedical Engineering has developed a new wound dressing based on fibers she engineered -- fibers that can be loaded with drugs like antibiotics to speed up the healing process, and then dissolve when they've done their job. A study published in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Applied Biomaterials demonstrates that, after only two days, this dressing can eradicate infection-causing bacteria.

The new dressing protects the wound until it is no longer needed, after which it melts away. "We've developed the first wound dressing that both releases antibiotic drugs and biodegrades in a controlled manner," says Prof. Zilberman. "It solves current mechanical and physical limitations in wound-dressing techniques and gives physicians a new and more effective platform for treating burns and bedsores."
The third technology has to do with repairing bone fractures.
A team at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Medical Center has managed for the first time in the world to separate platelets and adult stem cells from the blood and bone marrow of patients with fractures and inject them - causing the bones to meld in a quarter to third of the time it usually takes to repair bones, and repairing some breaks that without the therapy would fail to heal at all.


Under regional or general anesthesia, the patient undergoes a short procedure to remove 50 milliliters of mesenchymal bone marrow cells and 100 milliliters of blood from the hip area, which is often done for bone-marrow transplants on certain cancer patients. Adult mesenchymal stem cells can differentiate into a variety of cell types.

The patient is returned to the orthopedics department, while the cells and blood are taken to a lab approved for good manufacturing practice (GMP) and dedicated only for this purpose. Out of billions of bone marrow cells, millions of mesencymal stem cells were obtained, and platelets were taken from the blood. In principle, Liebergall said, any type of fracture that takes six to nine months to meld or doesn't heal at all can be treated with the technique, however, the team will wait to monitor patients until a year passes before regarding it as a full success or submitting a medical journal article.
Anyone who wants to boycott Israel is free to ignore these technologies.



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