Development of a novel wound dressing to mimic the extracellular matrix and promote healing.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Engineering and Physical Sciences


Chronic wounds are a significant global problem, causing patient morbidity and a substantial financial burden on health services worldwide. The incidence of chronic wounds is currently rising because those populations most susceptible, the elderly and diabetic, are rapidly expanding1. In 2014, the annual NHS spend on wound care was estimated at £2 billion2, while in the U.S. an estimated US$25 billion is spent on their treatment3.

Approximately 40-60% of chronic wounds do not heal within 3 months with standard moist wound care and therefore more advanced wound therapies are often used4. The extracellular matrix (ECM) of chronic wounds is dysfunctional and thus a variety of topical therapies which supplement or mimic the ECM have been developed to promote healing. Collagen is the main component of the ECM, providing a scaffold for cell migration, binding and inactivating proteinases, and simulating cell signalling through integrin binding. Collagen dressings are becoming increasingly popular; however, in chronic wounds both the ECM and cells are dysfunctional, therefore the addition of an ECM component, such as collagen, does not always translate to clinical efficacy.

This studentship will investigate the effects of different ECM components on healing by utilising sophisticated methods (electrospinning and nanofiber technologies) of generating ECM matrices which more closely mimic native ECM and therefore are more likely to support cell migration. In addition, the student will determine whether incorporating a biologically active additive into a collagen/ECM dressing to stimulate dysfunctional wound cells has synergistic effects on healing by promoting cellular-EMC interactions.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022201/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2027
2263282 Studentship EP/S022201/1 07/09/2019 30/09/2023 Davide Vincenzo Verdolino