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Published on 24 November 2011

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Wound dressing developed to detect infections


Nano-biotechnology applied to the fabrication of an advanced wound dressing may help detect whether a wound or burn is infected, according to research taking place across five European countries.

If the wound becomes infected, the dressing automatically releases an antimicrobial agent and, if this fails to stop the infection, then changes colour to alert the patient or clinicians.

Dr Toby Jenkins, Head of Biophysical Chemistry Research at the University of Bath, UK, will discuss the project today at the University of Leicester.

His lecture, entitled ‘A smart wound dressing concept for detecting and treating infection in paediatric burn wounds’, is hosted by the University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Science.

The problem of infection, especially with the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, is well known but it is less known that infection is a cause of death in half of all people who die from thermal burns.

The focus of the technology Toby and his team are developing is to treat burns in young children, and he will explain the clinical context, why they are focusing on children and how nano-biotechnology will make a difference to the clinical outcomes of burnt children in the future.

Derek Raine, Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, said: “Applications of nanotechnology to biology is a core example of a field of research that crosses the boundaries between the traditional disciplines and lies at the heart of the motivation for the development of our undergraduate programme in Interdisciplinary Science that encompasses these boundaries.

“As head of a leading cross-disciplinary research institute we are particularly delighted to welcome Dr Toby Jenkins to talk to our Interdisciplinary Science undergraduates at Leicester, and pleased to be able to open up the lecture to a wider audience.”

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Science brings together academic staff from the University’s College of Science and Engineering to provide teaching across the various science disciplines.

Its Interdisciplinary Science Guest Research Lecture aims provide a lecture accessible to both undergraduates and non-experts with an interest in science to raise awareness of current interdisciplinary research topics.

The lecture starts at 5pm in Room E, on the 1st floor of the Physics and Astronomy department at the University of Leicester.

University of Leicester

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