New EPSRC project set to transform the treatment of chronic wounds with personalised ‘smart dressings’

Posted on: 08/06/2022

A ground-breaking project to develop ‘smart dressings’ that stimulate tissue repair and report on the body’s healing processes could transform wound treatment.

Innovate UK KTN is delighted to announce that Prof Mehdi Tavakoli, KTM of NHS Infrastructure, MedTech and Therapies has been invited to Chair an Advisory Board and support an exciting new major EPSRC-funded project from the Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Devices, University of Brighton.

The project, led by Professor Matteo Santin, will develop a new generation of ‘theranostic’ wound dressings to speed up the healing process and provide doctors with diagnostic information on the patient’s healing process.

With dressings failing to heal over 40% of leg and foot ulcers within six months in the UK, and limitations of current dressing technology costing the NHS an additional £3 billion every year, the aim of this initiative is to drastically reduce the associated human and financial costs.

The project also promises to transform healthcare approaches in areas beyond wound treatment, including a better understanding of molecular interactions within organs, and creating synthetic antibodies or novel molecular probes which can be used for new diagnostics in the treatment and diagnosis of a range of diseases.

Professor Santin said: “Our project stems from over 30 years of research in biomimetic biomaterials at the University of Brighton, and aims to develop a macromolecular platform for the surface functionalisation of commercially-available dressings, conferring to the devices patient-tailored tissue healing properties and diagnostic power. The KTN-led advisory board will help us maximise opportunities to accelerate the technology transfer to industry while disseminating knowledge and alternative treatment protocols among clinicians.”

The £2.88 million funded project, made possible by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (part of UKRI), will start in September with a kickoff Workshop scheduled for October. The Advisory Board, including relevant experts and stakeholders, will aim to foster co-creation with patients and members of the public and to accelerate the technology transfer.

Mehdi Tavakoli is the KTM for NHS Infrastructure, Medical Technology and Therapies. If you want to hear more about upcoming funding opportunities and partnerships, get in contact with Mehdi Tavakoli.

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