New Treatments Could Help Diabetic Patients Avoid Foot Amputation

Special insoles featuring silver nano-particles could hold the key to fighting diabetic foot syndrome, according to a new study conducted by Tomsk Polytechnic University researchers.

Used to fight ulcers on the feet of diabetic patients, researchers believe this new technique can assist with disinfection, healing and the prevention of foot amputation.

"The research has shown silver's antibacterial properties facilitate rapid healing of ulcers and suppurations in patients with diabetic foot syndrome,” said TPU Professor Alexey Pestryakov. “The development has passed clinical tests. In patients who had used the insoles impregnated with silver nanoparticles, foot ulcers healed up, and the risk of amputations significantly reduced."

Diabetic foot syndrome

One of the most serious complications for people suffering from diabetes, diabetic foot syndrome occurs due to excess sugar in the body. Up to 15 percent of patients with diabetes are at risk of sustaining ulcers on their feet, and if the ulcers get worse, patients may need amputation.

Researchers at TPU have been working with colleagues in Mexico for nearly a decade - a country where diabetic foot syndrome is notably an issue. By developing pharmaceuticals based on silver nano-particles, scientists hope to combat the ill effects of fungi, bacteria and viruses - all of which put the feet of diabetic patients in danger.

Researchers also believe that diabetics with potential feet issues can use ”smart” socks to help avoid foot ulcers and the complications that can arise from them.

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