PITA Fiscal Year 2015 Projects

Plasma-based materials as an adjunctive therapy to treat pressure ulcers

Lead University: Carnegie Mellon University
PI: Lee Weiss, Robotics Institute
Co-PI(s): Phil Campbell, ICES

The goal is to develop a cost-effective, highly reliable adjunct therapy to treat pressure ulcers (a.k.a. bedsores and decubitus ulcers), which are injuries to skin and underlying tissues resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. Each year more than 2.5 million people in the U.S. develop pressure ulcers, which are accompanied by pain, associated risk for serious infection, high health care costs (~$11 billion per year in the U.S), and, in many cases, death due to sepsis. Older patients are more susceptible to developing ulcers, therefore the number of cases are on the rise as the population ages. The Surgeon General’s Healthy People 2010 Initiative identified pressure ulcers as a national health issue for long-term care, and the Health Care Financing Administration designated pressure ulcers as one of three sentinel events for long-term care. Best practices to treat and/or reduce the occurrence of pressure ulcers (e.g., pressure-relieving mattresses, proper nutrition, debridement, regular changes of dressings and patient re-positioning) haven't been sufficient to overcome the ever-increasing socioeconomic burden of this pathology. To improve outcomes, several adjunctive therapies are in development or clinical use. While these therapies show promise, they are relatively costly, have inconsistent outcomes, and none have yet to be adopted as part of standards of care. One such therapy is based on applying autologous plateletrich plasma (aPRP) to ulcers. Outcome variability associated with aPRP is well known for the treatment of other pathologies. To overcome variability and other issues with aPRP we previously used PITA funding to develop a low-cost bioactive plasma-based material (PBM) derived from allogeneic PRP, and we subsequently demonstrated PBM efficacy as an adjunct treatment for repair of bone fractures in a human clinical trial. We propose to develop a new PBM product for treating pressure ulcers and demonstrate feasibility in an animal model of ulceration.