Treatment of Recalcitrant Wounds of Diverse Etiology With a New Hydroactive Gel
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Abstract: Our knowledge about wound care has progressed considerably in recent years. Nonetheless there is a continuing need for new topical hydroactive gels in this field. Flamigel® (Flen Pharma NV, Kontich, Belgium) has recently been used on a limited number of burn patients. The hydroactive colloid gel maintains the wound in an ideal moist environment. The polymer in the tube is present in two physical forms—active and inactive. In a dry wound, the active polymer will release part of its moisture to hydrate the wound and to create and maintain a moist wound environment (“hydrogel” effect). The inactive polymer remains inactive. In an exuding wound, the inactive polymer is activated by the wound exudate and starts absorbing wound exudate (“hydrocolloid” effect). The absorption ceases when the entire polymer is activated and saturated with exudate. The wound itself decides whether the hydroactive gel absorbs or hydrates; hydration in case of a dry wound, absorption in case of an exuding wound. As a result, the wound is kept in a moist environment, which optimizes wound-healing speed and reduces the likelihood of scarring. This study investigated the wound-healing capacities of the hydroactive gel in wounds that have failed to respond to other treatments.
Address correspondence to:
Dave L. Van den Plas, PhD
Flen Pharma NV
Phone: 0032 3 825 70 63
Wound healing occurs in a dynamic continuous sequence. The process can be divided into the following steps: coagulation, inflammation, granulation, epithelialization, and maturation.1 It is dependent on oxygen delivery to tissue, pH of tissue, growth factors, and the supply of a local wound environment sustaining the cells involved in the repair mechanism.2 Maintaining a moist wound environment is one of the key factors in the wound healing process. A moist environment ensures rapid movement of epidermal cells, thereby enhancing epithelialization. 3 Furthermore, the beneficial effect of a moist versus a dry wound environment can be attributed to the prevention of tissue dehydration and cell death, accelerated angiogenesis, increased breakdown of necrotic tissue and fibrin (debridement)—ie, pericapillary fibrin cuffs—and potentiating the interaction of growth factors with their target cells.4
Hydrocolloid dressings have been used on chronic ulcers,5 skin graft donor sites,6 and superficial second degree minor burn injuries.7–10 These dressings are occlusive and create an oxygen impermeable or low oxygen permeable moist environment and low pH in the wounds.5,11 Additionally, the dressings, which are occlusive by nature have been shown to improve wound healing by an increased rate of epithelialization, collagen synthesis, and keratinocyte proliferation.6,7,12–14
Our knowledge about wound care has progressed considerably in recent years. Nonetheless there is a continuing need for new topical hydroactive gels in this field. Flamigel® (Flen Pharma NV, Kontich, Belgium) has recently been used on a limited number of burn patients and is a hydroactive colloid gel that maintains the wound in an ideal moist environment. The polymer in the tube is present in two physical forms, active and inactive. In a dry wound, the active polymer will release part of its moisture to hydrate the wound and create and maintain a moist wound environment (“hydrogel” effect). The inactive polymer remains inactive. In an exuding wound, the inactive polymer is activated by the wound exudate and starts absorbing wound exudate (“hydrocolloid” effect). The absorption ceases when the polymer is activated and saturated with exudate.
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