Development of transglutaminase-crosslinked collagen biomaterials as novel dressings for diabetic foot ulcers
Diabetic foot ulcers are a common complication of diabetes. Dr Wang will study a new type of dressing that could be used to speed up wound healing and stop infections in foot ulcers. This could lead to better foot ulcer treatments and improve the quality of life for people with diabetes.
Background to research
Diabetic foot ulcers are a common complication of long-term diabetes, which can lead to serious health issues, including amputations. Collagen dressings have been used to treat diabetic foot ulcers. Collagen is a protein which provides the body with strength and structure. Scientists have shown that collagen can help wound healing by repairing damaged tissues.
Dr Wang wants to introduce a group of enzymes, called transglutaminases, to improve these collagen dressings. Transglutaminases work as a kind of biological glue, to make the collagen more stable and potentially more effective at healing wounds.
Dr Wang will study skin cells in the lab, looking at ‘healthy’ cells and those mimicking the conditions found in people with diabetes. They will study this new collagen, looking at how it affects both types of cell.
Dr Wang will also study the effects of the new collagen dressing, to see if it can improve wound healing and prevent infections.
Potential benefit to people with diabetes
This research could help us find better ways to treat diabetic foot ulcers. Improving wound healing could reduce the number of people who need amputations caused by diabetic foot ulcers, and could significantly improve the quality of life of people with diabetes.