The aim of the Bacteriosafe consortium is to construct, test and develop a unique active wound dressing, which incorporates novel colourimetric sensor and active therapeutic processes for detecting and counteracting pathogenic bacteria in wounds.
The inspiration for this project is the natural nano-biological mechanism of bacterial attack on healthy cells. The outer cell walls are ruptured by an array of protein toxins, lipases and other enzymes secreted by these bacteria. We mimic this natural process by using these pathogenic factors to liberate engineered and biologically derived antibiotics/antimicrobials and indicating molecules from highly designed surface immobilized nanocapsules. This will minimize the need for frequent traumatic changes of wound dressing and will provide a simple optical indicator of bacterial infection. In addition to a significant cost reduction, the proposed dressing will minimize the time required for the analysis of bacterial infection. This is particularly critical in burn wounds where delayed detection of bacterial infection can result in patient death. The project will cover both the research into the basic mechanisms of device operation, the development of a prototype device and the process engineering which is necessary to prepare it for large scale industrial production.