Doctors may soon be able to diagnose stomach ulcers without taking tissue samples from the stomach. Researchers from the Univ. of Southern Denmark have developed a new, safer and noninvasive diagnostic technique for ulcers. The trick is to make the ulcer-causing bacteria in the gut light up in fluorescent green.
Each year, many patients are examined for ulcers, and this is often done by retrieving a tissue sample from the stomach. This requires that the doctor sends an instrument down into the patient´s stomach, and the patient must wait for the tissue sample to be analyzed before the doctor can give information about a possible ulcer.
In a small clinical study, researchers administered a new method for treating chronic wounds using a novel ultrasound applicator that can be worn like a Band-Aid. The applicator delivers low-frequency, low-intensity ultrasound directly to wounds, and was found to significantly accelerate healing in five patients with venous ulcers. Venous ulcers are caused when valves in the veins malfunction, causing blood to pool in the leg instead of returning to the heart. This pooling, called venous stasis, can cause proteins and cells in the vein to leak into the surrounding tissue leading to inflammation and formation of an ulcer.
The technology was developed by researchers at Drexel Univ. with funding from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have revealed a potential new way to attack common stomach bacteria that cause ulcers and significantly increase the odds of developing stomach cancer.
The breakthrough, made using powerful X-rays from SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), was the culmination of five years of research into the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which is so tough it can live in strong stomach acid. At least half the world’s population carries H. pylori and hundreds of millions suffer health problems as a result; current treatments require a complicated regimen of stomach-acid inhibitors and antibiotics.
Even the tiniest microscopic organisms make waves when they swim. In fact, dealing with these waves is a fact of life for the ulcer-causing bacteria H. pylori. The bacteria are known to change their behavior in order to compensate for the waves created by other bacteria swimming around in the same aquatic neighborhood. From the relatively simple actions of these individual bacteria emerges a complex, coordinated group behavior.
A new study by engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute demonstrates how introducing certain polymers—like those found in human mucus and saliva—into the environment makes it significantly more difficult for H. pylori and other microorganisms to coordinate.
Scientists have confirmed the feasibility of using a new drug delivery system, the basis for a battery-powered skin patch, to administer medication that shows promise for treating peripheral artery disease (PAD) and healing stubborn skin ulcers and burns.