Examining PDRN: Tissue Repair Drug Helps Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers

For most people, fungi and bacteria are an inconvenience warranting a trip to the doctor’s and a course of antibiotics or antifungal medication. However, people with diabetes literally risk life and limb by not treating these pathogens immediately, at the first sign of infection. Diabetic foot ulcers are lesions that do not heal in a timely fashion. When sores do not heal, microbial colonies flourish and spread among the surrounding tissues, causing cell death and gangrene that may warrant amputation. These sores also become an open portal to the body to pick up deadly infections, like staph and MRSA.

diabetic foot infection

Diabetic foot ulcers are no joke. They can result in amputation of toes, portions of the foot, or entire limbs.

We created a device called the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to kill off dangerous pathogens living inside the footwear of diabetics. Limiting the amount of microbes you come into contact with is an important facet of treatment. People who already have diabetic foot ulcers will need to aggressively treat the infection under the care of a doctor. Recently, researchers found that a certain tissue repair drug makes patients with ulcers twice as likely to heal within eight weeks when compared to a placebo.

Tissue Repair Drug Shows Promise in Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

A study published in the February 2014 issue of the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reported that patients receiving injections of a tissue repair drug called polydeoxyribonucleotide (PDRN) were twice as likely to have a wound that healed within eight weeks. After two months, 37% of the patients treated with PDRN had full closure of their ulcers, compared to 19% of the placebo group.

syringe injection

A simple injection could be a cost-effective and efficient way of speeding healing for foot ulcers in diabetics.
Image source: Armin Kübelbeck via wikimedia.org

What Is PDRN?

Polydeoxyribonucleotide is derived from sperm trout through an extraction process. The compounds are able to stimulate Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors and certain receptors in the body that trigger the creation of new artery formation, improves blood flow, and reduces inflammation. Most importantly, PDRN provides the nucleotides necessary for cell regeneration. In addition to its use for diabetic foot ulcers, PDRN has proven effective in treating PAOD, chronic wounds, hind limb ischemia, osteoarthritis disease, coronary artery disease, and burn injuries. It’s still a very new treatment that is being explored in clinical tests, so we’re not sure when it will become widely available to the masses yet.

Injections Could Be Cheap & Low-Risk, Scientists Say

Scientists say the lack of side effects associated with PDRN injections is another bonus of using the tissue repair drug. Other methods of treatment — like antibiotics or surgical debridement — pose a risk of side effects, and new therapies (like hyperbaric oxygen) are very expensive. “This approach could revolutionize the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers — a main cause of hospital admissions in the developed world,” said lead researcher, Francesco Squadrito MD, of the University of Messina in Italy.

Prevention Is the Best Cure for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Did you know that patients with a history of previous ulceration or amputation have a 36.4 times greater risk for developing another ulcer in the future? That is why people who have had ulcers need to take every measure possible to protect themselves from recurrence. This may mean seeking the new PDRN injections as soon as they are widely available. But on a more practical level, it means wearing specialized footwear that offloads pressure from ulcer-prone areas, as well as keeping shoes sanitized and dry.

The American Podiatric Medical Association has awarded the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer their prestigious Seal of Acceptance for its clinically-proven ability to kill up to 99.9% of the microbes inside a shoe within just one 45-minute cycle. Our device is designed for podiatrist or home use, and utilizes ultraviolet light to destroy harmful organisms. The SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer is available for a 30-day risk-free trial here.