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Responsive wound dressing


With the establishment of its research focus "Smart Materials and Digital Technologies", the DPU Krems has created a unique selling point at the Krems location, as well as regionally and nationally. The aim of the work is to develop a wide variety of sensors for improving diagnostics and patient care. This creates long-term development prospects for the Technopol Krems, which can also lead to the establishment of new companies at the site.

Wounds, especially burn wounds, are frequently infected with bacteria, e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus. In addition, a considerable number of infections in hospitals are postoperative infections. In all cases, bacterial infections lead to delayed healing and pose a risk for invasive infections and sepsis.
In order to avoid frequent and often unnecessary dressing changes and thus reduce the risk of infection, knowledge of the status of the wound is essential!
In bacterial infections, cytolytic toxins, e.g. -toxins, and enzymes, e.g. proteases, hyaluronidases and ureases, are secreted.

The concept of a smart wound dressing loaded with functional units that can monitor the infection status of the wound and trigger the release of therapeutic agents (some elements of this figure courtesy of Toby Jenkins, University of Bath).

Smart wound dressing
LiST - Life Science Technology

For this purpose, the wound dressing is equipped with fluorophore-loaded polymeric nanocontainers (polymersomes), which release their self-quenched charge after lysis by a bacterial virulence factor, causing the wound dressing to glow. We propose to use the phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs), e.g., PSM3 or -toxin, secreted by S. aureus, or the toxin rhamnolipid of P. aeruginosa as a chemical stimulus that triggers vesicle lysis, leading to a visual diagnostic response of the smart wound dressing.

In addition, a second population of polymersomes loaded with antimicrobial peptides (synthetic AMPs such as V4 or naturally occurring host defense peptides, HDPs) is immobilized within the dressing to trigger a therapeutic effect in-situ, i.e. within the wound dressing




These chemical markers can be used to develop wound dressings with integrated functional systems that can

- indicate the condition of the wound in a
  diagnostic test and can
- can trigger a therapeutic response.

Land NÖ

Research Directors

LiST - Life Science Technology
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