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A new medicated surgical hydrogel for improved healing of infected blister wounds

Project lead Dr Zlatko Kopecki
Organisation University of South Australia, Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
Project budget AUD 30,000.00 (Time only extension due to Covid-19)
Start date / Duration 01. Jan 2020 / 24 months
Funder(s) / Co-Funder(s) DEBRA Australia
Research area Symptom prevention & relief

Project details

Short lay summary

Bacterial infection of blistered wounds disrupts healing, causes damage to the wound and can lead to sepsis, which is a leading cause of EB infant mortality. The strategy for this project involves repositioning of a medicated hydrogel developed for treatment of wound infection following sinus surgery. We are now using this developed technology to investigate the effectiveness of this hydrogel in combating skin wound infections. We anticipate developing a product that both fights infection and promotes healing in EB.  

Scientific summary

Current multimodal treatments for EB patients involving autolytic debridement, systemic antibiotics and wound care offer limited benefits against biofilms. Increasing levels of multi-drug-resistance coupled with genomic plasticity leads to antimicrobial resistance and pose a serious threat for EB patients. This project will use in-vitro and in-vivo approaches to determine the safety and efficacy of a novel medicated hydrogel, and its individual components, on skin cell function, healing, and infection using clinically relevant pathogens present in EB blistered infected wounds and preclinical models of wound infection. The medicated components of this hydrogel have been FDA approved and the hydrogel has been shown to be safe and effective in Phase II clinical trials with patients undergoing sinus surgery. Our excellent preliminary data suggests that this medicated anti-biofilm hydrogel has desirable anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties for treatment of infected blisters to disrupt biofilms, prevent biofilm recurrence and promote blister healing.

Strategic relevance

This project will provide preliminary proof of concept data, mode of action, safety and efficacy, and dose response studies to validate the efficacy of the medicated hydrogel against gram-positive and gram-negative pathogens. At the conclusion of the study we will be armed with preclinical dataset to inform the design of future human clinical trails in EB patients. 


wound infection
wound healing
University of South Australia
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