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Diabetic wound healing and its relationship to vascular circulation.

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Diabetic wound healing and its relationship to vascular circulation.



  • Contact name

    S. Tawqeer Rashid

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Manchester

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 9 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Diabetes mellitus is one of the leading causes of illness worldwide. Diabetes can affect nerves, skin and blood vessels. Diabetics with problems in their nerves can lose the sense of touch in their feet (called neuropathy) and so may unknowingly cause damage to the skin resulting in skin loss or an ‘ulcer’. Diabetics also have difficulty healing any damaged tissues especially if they have diseased blood vessels causing a lack of blood to areas of the body including the feet (called ischaemia). Therefore diabetics have a greater chance of having an ulcer and a higher chance that it does not heal up. The loss of a protective skin barrier means that bacteria can enter the foot causing infections which can spread to bone and beyond. Ultimately this can result in gangrene, amputation or even death.
    Stem or progenitor cells help repair and replace damage in the body. Blood vessels are key to this repair. Recent research has suggested that special progenitor cells found in the blood may be responsible. They are called Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs) and seem to be in fewer numbers and are less effective at repair in diabetics.
    Current treatments for diabetic wounds are not always successful and so we need more research to look at new treatments. One possibility is to use electrical stimulation of nerves in the leg. Research studies have shown this may improve blood circulation and healing of wounds.
    This research will assess EPCs to see if they are linked to ulcer healing in diabetic patients with neuropathy only or with ischaemia as well. Furthermore we wish to investigate whether electrical stimulation can affect progenitor cells and wound healing in these patients.
    The long-term goal of this research is to help diabetic patients improve their quality of life by reducing wound-related complications

  • REC name

    South West - Central Bristol Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    21 Nov 2014

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion

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