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Wound fix-a-blob

Sterile organic material for packing wounds
  [vote for,

With whatever causes, some wounds leave a void where the original tissue has been removed, making it difficult to close up the surrounding tissue to create a sterile environment for re-growth and healing.

In some cases, wounds have to be packed with sterile dressings, allowing progressive healing as the surrounding tissue grows. This might be for deep muscle wounds, but probably not vital organs. But dressings used like this, and the need to change them regularly, increase the risk of infection and interfere with healing.

A sterile biocompatible organic material, with suitable mechanical properties, could be used to fill the void and provide a scaffolding for healing. Probably “glob-like”, matching the mechanical properties of the surrounding tissue, somewhat sticky, but can be assimilated, grown around and through, and maybe includes chemicals to stimulate/support healing and suppress infection.

Frankx, Oct 01 2019


       Sounds good but I'd be surprised if it doesn't exist.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2019

       My searches so far have turned up surface dressings, collagen being the nearest. But I’m thinking deep-wound packing. I was intrigued to discover that superglue (cyanoacrylate) was originally intended for gluing wounds closed in an emergency.
Frankx, Oct 01 2019

       I found things like alginate gels, but they seem to be temporary - ie removed and changed after a while.   

       It may be that it's bad to close up a cavity wound with permanent (or at least permanent-until-absorbed) packing - you need to let various revolting things out of the cavity from time to time. But then again, maybe not.   

       And cyanoacrylates were originally developed as an alternative to Perspex. Only later was it discovered that the uncured stuff was a great adhesive. And use for wound closing came a lot later.   

       There should be a plotline somewhere in which two people are glued together with cyanoacrylate, over such an extensive (and/or sensitive) area of skin that they can't peel themselves apart. They'd be able to separate only once the outer layer of skin had grown enough to be shed.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2019

       If there's a post-surgery void in the body which needs to be filled, it seems a missed opportunity to fill it with something inert. Surely far better to fill it with a few TB of flash memory storage with a small NFC inductance loop to allow it to be powered up - all wrapped in bio-compatible silicone. Then, if you want to, for example, back up all the photos on your phone, all you'd have to do would be to hold the phone over your wound for a few seconds and everything would be backed up to (fairly) secure storage.
hippo, Oct 02 2019

       //(fairly) secure storage// I dunno. Seems to me that if you're backing up to a part of your body that's already had a hole blasted in it once, you're tempting fate.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 02 2019

       I wonder if extracellular matrix could be used for this. I seem to recall reading years ago that it was usable to effect full regrowth of chopped-off bits like fingertips.
notexactly, Oct 02 2019

       [Frankx] - the "blob" you're trying to re-invent was known as a "poultice". Traditionally, for an open gaping wound, the go-to would have been comfrey.   

       I have used comfrey poultices personally to good effect (on broken bones & closed wounds; haven't [fate, be not tempted] had opportunity to try it on any avulsion wounds). I wouldn't recommend that to anyone else; but if I had such a misfortune, I'd probably give it a go. It would be quite interesting to try it as an adjuct to something more assimilable than a gauze pad.
lurch, Oct 03 2019

       As stomach turning as it sounds when it comes to extreme poultices... maggots only eat dead flesh, leeches can pull circulation back to a severed limb and also reduce an elderly male's or post menopausal women's risk of heart attack or stroke to that of a pre-meopausal woman, mouldy bread is where penicillin came from, and the placebo effect can trick the subconscious into healing things which could in no other way be healed.   

       // //(fairly) secure storage// I dunno. Seems to me that if you're backing up to a part of your body that's already had a hole blasted in it once, you're tempting fate.//   

       Well, if it it was lightning that made the hole...
Loris, Oct 03 2019


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