A Novel nanoemulsion for Optimised Wound recovery-NOW:a topical antibiotic-free approach



In the UK alone, around 2 million patients suffer acute or chronic wounds every year, causing increased morbidity and high economic burden to the healthcare system estimated around £5.3 billion. Pathological wound healing and scar formation are major medical problems and despite advancements in wound care management, current skin recovery approaches generally fail to provide a satisfactory clinical outcome, commonly facing challenges such as inefficient skin recovery, excess scar tissue formation and possible infections, particularly with chronic wound treatment. Although numerous topical formulations with antibiotics have been developed, their efficacy is compromised due to the rising rates of antimicrobial resistance that is estimated to cause 10 million deaths every year by 2050 and the lack of micronutrients for stimulating granulation tissue production and inhibiting scar tissue formation. This project aims to explore these challenges by skills and knowledge transfer, generating and testing ideas for novel approaches for antibiotic-free wound skin recovery, directly contributing to UK government's vision for combating antimicrobial resistance. This project will be realised through the secondment of an early career researcher from the University of Surrey to a biotechnology SME- Phytoceutical.

The hosting organisation, biotechnology SME Phytoceutical has developed and tested technology for encapsulating micronutrients including retinol (the most bioavailable form of vitamin A) for pre-and post- operative skin care. The company's retinol topical nanoemulsion is stable and has been proven to penetrate the physical skin barrier without systemic toxicity effects. This project explores new ways for adapting the company's IP for skin recovery, incorporating natural compounds and alternative antiseptics with proven antimicrobial properties for combating antimicrobial resistance related to antibiotics use.

The secondment boosts the secondee's career development, by opening the opportunity for a range of skills and knowledge to be gained, including how small, agile companies can compete and bring new innovations to the market, access funding support, work with end-users and early market adopters who desire the products and navigate the regulatory environment prior to product commercialisation. The project also promotes a long-term collaboration between Phytoceutical Ltd and the University of Surrey's research team that enables complementary exchange of knowledge, ideas and expertise between the company and the academic institution. Furthermore, the project allows new research avenues to be explored for the University including in wound care advanced models and antibiotic resistance solutions and builds the knowledge and skills foundation for future collaborative funding between the partners to take wound recovery forward.


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