Self-expanded mesh grafts are routinely used to treat large burn injuries and skin defects. Although this treatment saves lives, the healed tissue has a fish net-like appearance, a disfigurement that can be devastating for patients. Furthermore, chronic and non-healing wounds seen in the elderly and diabetic patients and those with disabilities such as spinal cord injured patients are the most difficult and costly to treat.
Dr. Ghahary’s lab has developed a novel, shelf-ready powdered reconstitutable liquid skin substitute called “MeshFill”. MeshFill is liquid at low temperatures and solidified when it is applied to a wound site. As MeshFill is a liquid scaffold, it fills up any cavities, gaps and void areas seen in different chronic wounds and any other injuries.
MeshFill has already been shown to accelerate the healing process when used on diabetic wounds, and patients with large burn injuries and other skin defects currently treated with a self-expanded mesh graft would also benefit from this technology. The therapeutic use of MeshFill would greatly reduce patient suffering, as well as reducing the economic and social costs of chronic and burn wounds.
Dr. Ghahary will evaluate MeshFill’s safety, effectiveness, feasibility and functionality in animal models. Subject to successful results from these experiments, he will then refine MeshFill’s preclinical safety, manufacturing, sterilization, packaging, and a scaling-up strategy in order to assemble a shelf-ready product.