Smart Materials and Structures for Pressure Ulcer and Diabetic Foot Ulcer Prevention

David Wang Auditorium, 3rd floor Dalia Maydan Bldg.
Prof. Amit Gefen

Prof. Amit Gefen

Department of Biomedical Engineering Faculty of Engineering
Tel Aviv University

Our current understanding of chronic wounds, pressure ulcers (PUs) and diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) in particular, is that they are caused by exposure to excessive levels of sustained or cyclic tissue and cell deformations, which compromise viability and lead to necrosis. Device-related PUs are a sub-type of PUs, caused by medical devices or other objects that exert forces on skin and subdermal tissues and cause an injury, such as oxygen masks, endotracheal tubes and other tubing, electrodes and devices used in diagnostics and treatment. Tissue damage in DFUs is typically associated with interaction of the plantar (or dorsal) foot affected by neuropathy with footwear. In both cases, smart materials and structures can aid in redistributing localized forces and mechanical stresses in tissues, alleviating tissue deformations and therefore protecting tissues of insensate or immobile patients or body parts from injury with potential devastating consequences such distorted body image or amputations. Our research group is active in: (1) Describing the etiology of PUs and DFUs, (2) Understanding and characterizing the conditions and scenarios that likely lead to PUs and DFUs, (3) Developing effective technological solutions that are clinically applicable for reducing the risk and burden of PUs and DFUs. Our research methodologies, discoveries and implications to medical technology will be described in the talk.