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Algi-paC is a mixture of alginate powder and carbon powder which makes it well-adapting, anti-bacterial and anti-odour dressing for wounds in cancer patients. (Pic courtesy VINVENT)
0 Comments May 25, 2017 | News India

"Algi-pac will make wound management in cancer patients effective and affordable", Dr.Abhishek Nagaraj

Post a comment by DT SEA, Niranjan Prabhakar

DT SEA speaks to Dr.Abhishek Nagaraj from VINVENT, a company dedicated to bring innovations to life. Latest from this team is ALGI-PAC , invented by Ms. Saroja Gangaiah, the Chief pharmacist at Department of Palliative Medicine, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore.

DT SEA:The latest innovation from the stables of VINVENT seems to be ALGI-PAC. Tell us a little about it.

Dr.Abhishek Nagaraj: Cancer wounds or long-term ulcers produce a high quantity of pus, are very foul smelling and harbour very harmful bacteria. If left untreated for a long time, in this dead tissue, even maggots are formed.

Hence, dressing is required after cleaning or surgery, to maintain a healthy wound to promote healing or at least maintain a clean wound. This becomes very difficult owing to continuous pus formation. Similar problems of difficult wound management are seen in cases of burns, bed sores, lymphorrhea and post-gastric surgery.

Such wounds require regular change of dressing almost two-three times in a day at home or hospice by care-taker. But such dressings with anti-bacterial agents are not easy to place effectively or remove entirely without damaging the wound or causing pain to the patient.

In some cases, even kerosene is used to be sprayed on these wounds to cancel out the foul odor emanating from these long-standing wounds.

How did this innovation come about?
Algi-paC is a mixture of alginate powder and carbon powder which makes it well-adapting, anti-bacterial and anti-odour dressing which absorbs pus and gels up to a semi-solid mass over-time and is easy to replace.

It has two main components
a) Alginate powder
b) Carbon powder
and a surgical kit comprising of
a) Gauze i.e., a thin transparent fabric made of silk, linen, or cotton
b) Medical grade adhesive tape to secure dressing on intended site
c) Scissors to cut the gauze and tape according to wound size
d) Dispensers to dispense the required amount of alginate and carbon powder

The purpose is to use synergistic effect, alginate and carbon powder have been mixed and provided as a kit, which makes it easy to apply to any size and shape of wound.
Alginate powder absorbs the pus liquid and gels up by chemical reaction with water content of pus. When used alone, it has only effect of absorption. Upon gelation, it becomes a dense mass which can be removed. But in direct contact with dead-tissue, this very dense mass will not be easy to remove without causing pain to the patient.

Carbon is the second ingredient, mainly used for antibacterial effect and deodorizing the wound. If placed alone the powdery carbon once mixed with exudate is not removable entirely and its residues cause irritation over long-term. Hence, we have mixed Carbon powder in appropriate ratio with alginate powder before placement thereby reducing the final density of alginate gel.

Use of gauze to deliver the mixture on wound gives flexibility of proper shaping, easy packing and removal of the dressing.Kit to be used is essentially a surgical kit assembled for proper application and disposal of the dressing pack.

There are several products available for palliative care for patients and most of them work very well. How is your product different?
Many different types of alginate dressings are available abroad from sheets to ropes. But these commercially available alginate dressings are of specific form and size making it difficult to customize according to wound’s shape and depth. They do not fit the size of the wound or have any type of delivery and removal system making it painful and messy event for both patient and caretakers.

Carbon is also available as cosmetic and dressing material because of its antibacterial and deodorizing effect. The deodorizing and physical advantage of carbon has never been explored in combination with alginate so far. Medical-grade activated charcoal used as the source of carbon powder also has anti-bacterial effect when applied in close approximation to wound.

Hence, the combination suggested here provides synergistic effect of absorption, antibacterial and deodorizing, all in one mixture. Further, physical property of mixture is beneficial compared to use of ingredients individually.

Algi-paC is easy to assemble by the patient or caretaker. Easy to apply, easy to remove and further provides efficient pus removal and deodorizing effect. By absorption of pus and regular removal of harmful bacteria the present invention promotes healing.

What were your sources of support for this product?
In a pilot study conducted at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, ten cases malignant ulcers, after debridement, were packed with a alginate-carbon dressing: this was well tolerated, its removal causing minimal pain. No adverse effects were attributable to its use.

Algi-paC is made of easily available medical-grade ingredients. Such low cost of application makes it a useful regular adjuvant for maintaining a healthy wound for overall improvement of patient’s health.

A classic example of applied dental sciences in other medical fields, Vaatsalya Inventures is proud to present this innovative cost-effective technique mentioned here as an open patent with purpose to allow researchers and clinicians to utilize it for the benefit of poor patients and report in literature or send correspondence to manager@vinvent.in

Algi-paC has been selected for presentation at the upcoming ASIA PACIFIC HOSPICE CONFERENCE 2017, 26-29th July, SINGAPORE by its Inventor, Ms. Saroja Gangaiah, Chief pharmacist at Department of Palliative Medicine, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore.

What next can we expect from V-INVENT?

Team V-Invent is constantly working towards one motto and that is to promote individual inventors to INVENT IN INDIA. This aim although has many hurdles compared to promoted research but it has far-reaching benefits for the local population as the main reason for higher cost of imported products is the cost of patent and research. As a rule, the local population should be the first beneficiaries of inventions of the land.

Further, several projects of research are currently ongoing in exploring benefits of carbon and similar compounds in cancer patients.

Thank you for the Interview.

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