Roanoke, VA - Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carillon Research Institute are leading the way in new science that could help wounds heal in half the time.
This is especially important for diabetics dealing with complications like foot ulcers.
This research actually began in South Carolina, nearly a decade ago, but was imported to the Roanoke-based research center when one of the lead scientists was recruited to come work at the institute two years ago.
Dr. Robert Gourdie now leads as many as two dozen researchers working to further the science.
Gourdie, and a former student, accidentally made the discovery.
It involves a compound that helps our body's cells communicate together more efficiently.
"We're encouraging, we think, the process to proceed faster by encouraging the cells to carry out conversations that enhance that process," said Gourdie.
Right now diabetic foot ulcers is what Gourdie's research is focused on.
However, if this compound is proven safe and effective the possibilities are endless.
One example is treating cancer. Right now cancer cells don't communicate well, but if this works Gourdie says the communication between the cells would grow and spread making it easier to kill all the cancer cells in less time.
This research is still in the trial phase.
A $200,000 grant, provided by Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation, is allowing the trials to move into a third phase.