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Novel strategies for wound management

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EU-Australian wound healing research

Wound healing is a global challenge and different complementary treatment solutions have been developed worldwide. EU funding supported an initiative to bring together wound healing research groups through enhanced communication and knowledge transfer.

Health

One Australian and five European research groups collaborated on improving clinical wound management, surface modification and biomaterials' development. Under the aegis of the KOALA (Novel strategies for wound management) project, partners carried out a staff exchange scheme to improve knowledge transfer. Researchers worked together to develop intelligent, bioresponsive materials that indicate and treat wound infections 'on demand' for rapid healing. To detect infection, the biomaterial-based sensors need to detect changes in the wound environment, such as pH, bacterial toxins, enzymes and membrane proteins. European partners sent four experienced researchers (ERs), nine early-stage researchers (ESRs), one technical staff member and one management staff member (MGT) from Europe to Australia. The Australian partner sent five ESRs and two MGTs from Australia to the European groups. This enabled several joint research activities. Training activities included instruction on use of analytical equipment and novel chemical synthesis methodologies to produce bioresponsive nanoparticles, capsules and thin films on different substrates. KOALA was highly successful in its endeavours. Major achievements include development of nanocapsules carrying drugs, antibacterial thin films, inline bacteria-sensing platforms and hybrid nanoparticles. Outcomes resulted in seven peer-reviewed publications with five more on the way. Project activities were also disseminated via two symposia held in Singapore and Lorne (Australia), several international conference talks and posters and the project website. KOALA activities facilitated the development of durable sensor platforms that can be incorporated in diagnostic devices for applications in food storage, water monitoring and patient monitoring. Project partners are working on capitalising on their success through further funding and partnerships with the private sector.

Keywords

Wound healing, wound management, biomaterials, bioresponsive, nanocapsules

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