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von Rechenberg

Fakultäten » Vetsuisse-Fakultät » Departement für Pferde » Musculoskeletal Research Unit (MSRU) » Prof. Dr. Brigitte von Rechenberg » von Rechenberg

Current research project

Title / Titel B5 platform: Biological Biodegradable and anti-Bacterial Burn-wound Bandages.
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Management of burns belongs in Switzerland to “highly specialized medicine” and is concentrated on two national burn centers (BC) in Lausanne and Zurich. Survival after severe burn has increased steadily. The improvement in fluid resuscitation and respiratory support considerably reduced the rate of early death. As such, nosocomial infections replaced burn shock and/or inhalation-induced respiratory failure as the major cause of morbidity and mortality. With an incidence of 22.7/1000 patient-days, burn wound infections serve as bacterial reservoir for other nosocomial infections, including pneumonia or catheter infections. Despite topical antimicrobials, early excision and immediate wound closure, the frequency of persistent burn wound infections due to hard-to-treat multi-drug resistant (MDR) microbes (e.g. Pseudomonas aeruginosa) has increased steadily and hampers further decline in mortality.
Such infections are associated with significant morbidity and costs, especially after massive burn. In those cases, grafting is delayed by the availability of donor sites and cultured skin cells. Cadaver skin and allograft pig-skin are the primary cover of choice in addition to gauze and vaseline-gauze dressings to prevent/control infection in the meantime. As a complementary strategy, the CHUV has recently successfully used a new class of “biological” dressings made of gamma-irradiated progenitor skin cells to treat chronic leg ulcers in adults and burn wounds in children. These dressings secrete growth factors that positively impact wound healing processes.
However, the interactions between these new dressings and microbial pathogens, their potential preventive effects on burn wound infections, have never been studied so far. Since the number of new antimicrobials under clinical development against MDR bacteria remains extremely limited, innovative approaches are urgently needed before burn wound infections become orphan pathologies.
New dressings less prone to bacterial infections would significantly improve survival; reduce morbidity and costs in relation with prolonged treatments after burn trauma.
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Brigitte von Rechenberg, Dr.med.vet. Dipl. ECVS (Project Leader) bvonrechenberg@vetclinics.uzh.ch
PhD Salim Darwiche, bioengineer sdarwiche@vetclinics.uzh.ch
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Other Public Sources (e.g. Federal or Cantonal Agencies)
SwissTransMed 14/2013
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof. Dr. Wassim Raffoul, 03.02.1959, Head of the Service of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dpt of Musculoskeletal Medicine,
1011 Lausanne

PI of SwissTransMed Project
Switzerland
Prof. Dr. med. Christian van Delden, 02.01.1962, Head of „Infectious Consultation for Immunocompromised Patients“ and of the „Laboratory for Antimicrobial Therapies“, Service of Infectious Diseases, HUG/UNIGE, 1211 Geneva 14 Switzerland
Dr Karl Perron, 27.03.1968, Group leader, Chargé d'enseignement, UNIGE, Microbiology Unit, 30 Quai Ernest-Ansermet, 1211 Geneva 4 Switzerland
Assistant Professor, Pioletti, Dominique, 31.08.1967, Director, EPFL/STI/IBI/LBO, Station 19, 1015 Lausanne Switzerland
Dr. Yok-Ai Que, MD-PhD, 21.08.1971, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Biology Medicine, Department of Fundamental Microbiology, UNIL, 1015 Lausanne, and Attending Physician at the Service of Intensive Care Medicine, BH 08.624, 1011 Lausanne Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Jean-Louis Reymond, 19.07.1963, Professor and Vice-Director, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, UNIBE, Freiestr. 3, 3012 Bern Switzerland
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Dec 2013 to Dec 2017