SAN FRANCISCO – Super-oxygenated water (search) has been used for years as a powerful disinfectant, but now a California company has developed a non-toxic formula that can kill bacteria without hurting healthy tissue.
Microcyn (search) — made from water and salt — is produced by a company called Oculus, which spent four years developing the spray. Its makers say it can speed up the healing of life-threatening burns and wounds, including diabetic ulcers. Another benefit promoted by the company is that instead of a shelf life of hours or days, the substance can stay effective for years.
The product is already being used as a disinfectant in Europe, Canada and India. In the United States, Microcyn has won approval from the Food and Drug Administration (search) as a medical device and doctors are cautiously optimistic about its potential.
"The sooner you can get the person healed and back to being fully active, the less it costs you and the better their quality of life, so everyone's looking for anything that will expedite that process," said Dr. Tim Berger, a dermatologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
A veterinary version of Microcyn is available to treat wounded pets, but starting next month a human version will be available to U.S. doctors and hospitals. Clinical trials testing a variety of possible applications for super-oxygenated water are in the planning stages.
Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Claudia Cowan.