Chronic wounds such as venous leg ulcers affect about 2 million people in Europe. They typically take between 12 to 24 weeks to heal, but 30% take over two years to heal so as well as a the suffering experienced by patients there is an associated European healthcare cost of €8billion a year.
The AMETHYST (Ambulatory Magneto Enhancement of Transdermal High Yield Silver Therapy) project aimed to reduce healing times using Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) and enhanced silver ion therapy. The PEMF increases the concentration of silver ions available in the wound bed margin through a multilayer device designed to be worn by the patient in their everyday lives.
The WCPC was responsible for researching and developing the electromagnetic coil element which forms the top layer of the wound dressing. There were several design constraints: The dressing must be flexible, significantly 2 dimensional and capable of treating a 5x5cm area within a 10x10cm dressing.
Using the screen printing process a stacked electromagnetic coil was produced which, when connected to bespoke electronics and thin film battery technology, produces an effective electromagnetic pulse to the wound bed. More information can be found at the Amethyst project website.
The AMETHYST project is the result of an FP7 grant from the European Commission and was made up of a consortium of companies and organisations led by Pulse Medical Technologies and Swansea University.
Project Lead: Dr David Beynon
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