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AFIRM: Research Areas: Compartment Syndrome Repair

Compartment Syndrome Repair

Compartment syndrome is often a secondary sequelae resultant from blast injuries, severe blunt or penetrating trauma, fractures and vascular injuries. As a result, it is often undiagnosed initially due to the multiple tissue types involved. The conditions under which warfighters are initially treated and prepared for transport can contribute to the probability of compartment syndrome. Once compartment syndrome is diagnosed, the only current treatment option is fasciotomy, where the pressure is released from the "compartment" by opening the surrounding tissue, which must be done within hours of onset to ensure effective treatment. This leaves an open wound which is susceptible to infection and added complications. As a result, it is imperative that new methods are developed for compartment syndrome detection and monitoring during triage of the critically wounded.

The AFIRM Compartment Syndrome Program will address compartment syndrome on several fronts:

  1. Preventative: Using membrane sealant technology, we will aim at reducing the risk and incidence of compartment syndrome during the period of time after injury and before compartment syndrome occurs.
  2. Damage Control: Using topically applied biomaterials, we will provide a hydrated, mechanically stable environment with the capacity to deliver healing-inducing drugs and biologics to the injury site during early care and transport.
  3. Late Restoration: Using a variety of therapies and in conjunction with other AFIRM Programs, we will reduce the onset of late sequelae of compartment syndrome where the muscle and nerves within the compartment do not recover, resulting in regional paralysis, scarring and contracture.

The AFIRM Compartment Syndrome Program will focus on attacking the problem of compartment syndrome among military personnel and in instances of severely injured civilians through regenerative medicine therapies that can immediately improve patient outcomes. The goal is to prevent or reverse the secondary damages that result from trauma so that repair and regeneration of wounded tissue is enhanced and healing and return to functionality is improved.



Graphic showing the dimensional skeletal muscle and schematic view of the proposed tissue scaffold
Last Modified Date: 05 Mar 2010