Enzymatic Debridement for Prolonged Field Care of Military Burn Wounds

Posted February 15, 2022

Matthew Smiechowski, Ph.D., Guild BioSciences

Matthew Smiechowski, Ph.D., Guild BioSciences
Dr. Matthew Smiechowski

Following a burn injury, removal of damaged tissue is a critical step in wound healing. The process known as debridement involves the manual removal of infected or necrotic tissue, often through surgery, which allows the skin to better heal and repair as well as prevent life-threatening systemic infection. Timing of debridement is important; delays in this step of burn wound care can lead to poor burn recovery outcomes due to increased risk of infection and slower wound healing from the presence of necrotic tissue. While surgical debridement works well in a hospital setting, Service Members who suffer burn injuries may have delayed access to a hospital and require immediate burn care and treatment in the field by nonsurgical medical personnel. Non-surgical debridement methods use certain enzymes to break down infected or necrotic tissue and can be effectively utilized by non-medical personnel in a prolonged field care environment.

Debridement Illustration
Figure 1: Debridement Illustration

The research team at Guild BioSciences, led by Dr. Matthew Smiechowski, received an FY19 Military Burn Research Program (MBRP) Idea Development Award to develop a nonsurgical burn wound debridement product suitable for use during prolonged field care. I-Debride™ is intended for field application at the point-of-injury by first responders, such as combat medics, with the potential for use by civilian paramedics and burn units. A single FDA-approved nonsurgical debridement product currently exists, but it has several drawbacks limiting its field-use potential, including specific storage temperature requirements. Conversely, I- Debride™ is shelf-stable and has several other features that offer improvements over the currently FDA-approved product. I Debride™ is based on Guild BioSciences’ ImmobiZyme™ technology, which, as shown in the illustration, combines a mixture of enzymes with support matrix materials and a crosslinker to improve the enzyme performance. Results from this work may also offer the potential for application to non-burn wounds such as diabetic wounds and pressure ulcers.

The MBRP-funded development of I-Debride™ addresses a critical gap in the burn care continuum by supporting the development of an enzymatic burn wound debridement product that could be used at the point of injury during prolonged field care of burn-injured Service Members.


Public and Technical Abstracts: Immobilized Enzyme-Based Burn Wound Debridement for Application at the Point of Injury and Prolonged Field Care

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Last updated Thursday, May 26, 2022