Helping Wounded Warriors Through Science: Military Connection

military connection: navy research

By Debbie Gregory.

At the Naval Medical Research Unit-San Antonio (NAMRU-SA) researchers are working on technologies that will help advance wound treatment for those who serve.

NAMRU-SA’s mission is to conduct medical, craniofacial and biomedical research, which focuses on ways to enhance the health, safety, performance and operational readiness of Navy and Marine Corps personnel and addresses their emergent medical and dental problems in routine and combat operations. They share their findings with the other service branches.

Combat Casualty Care and Operational Medicine is comprised of the Expeditionary and Trauma Medicine Department, Immunodiagnostic and Bioassay Department, and the Directed Energy Bioeffects and Human Systems Integration Department.

Craniofacial Health and Restorative Medicine is comprised of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department, Maxillofacial Injury and Disease Department, and the Biomaterials and Environmental Surveillance Department.

Some of the projects they are working on include:

  • Redesigning the surface of titanium implants
  • Developing nano delivery systems for antimicrobials and local anesthetics for controlling pain and infection after a burn or head injury
  • Creating bandages with bioactive factors such as growth factors, antibiotics and other agents that may speed up healing and reduce scar formation
  • Handling dental emergencies, especially detecting enamel cracks and improving resin formulations used to treat cavities. They are also aware of environmental concerns, making sure military dental treatment facilities properly handle and dispose of dental amalgam waste from fillings.

Navy researcher Dr. Amber Nagy, an environmental microbiologist and biomedical scientist, said the success of the research could not happen without teamwork. “This research isn’t possible without our interdisciplinary team,” she said. “We have an excellent, dedicated and diverse team working together to solve these problems to save lives out there in the field.”

Interdisciplinary teams seek to address problems by bringing together people with varying expertise to answer questions from many different approaches.

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Helping Wounded Warriors Through Science: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory