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Ambulatory Magneto-Enhancement of Transdermal High Yield Silver Therapy (AMETHYST)
Start date: Nov 1, 2009, End date: Aug 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

There are approximately 2 million people who suffer from chronic wounds such as venous leg ulcers in Europe at the present time. These wounds typically take between 12 and 24 weeks to heal, but 30% take over two years. This represents a cost to the European healthcare services of at least €8 billion a year in treatment. Two thirds of cases are released immediately for treatment in the community, and it is common for 40% of community nurses’ time to be taken up by the management, dressing and care of this type of wound. In addition to the above, one of the reasons behind the phenomenon of antibiotic resistant bacteria is the widespread use of medication when there is no clinical infection. If low level silver ion dressings could be used in prophylaxis instead of antibiotics there would be an additional saving in terms of the cost of treating patients who contract antibiotic resistant infections. More importantly the incidence of antibiotic resistance will be lower. Current wound treatments are either expensive, inadequate or dangerous. Our idea provides a way of enhancing the effectiveness of silver-containing dressings used in the treatment of ulcers by creating a pulsed electromagnetic field at the wound site by the incorporation of a pulsed electromagnetic element in a low silver dressing. The pulsed electromagnetic field increases the concentration of silver ions available to the wound bed margin. The device is designed to be worn by patients in their every-day lives without the need to attend a medical facility for treatment. The system consists of two distinct components – an electronic pulse generator and an electromagnetic component contained in a disposable surgical dressing which is impregnated with silver-containing nanoparticles.

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