Thesis: Self-assembling peptide nano-scaffolds for burn wounds
This project will involve the investigation of various peptide scaffolds and growth factors, their characterisation and toxicity studies in vitro and in vivo to study their potential as drug delivery vehicles for the treatment of burn wounds.
The aims of the project are as presented below:
1. To develop self-assembled peptide nanofibre scaffolds for skin recovery following acute burn injury.
2. To test the utility of various scaffold-based growth factors to enhance skin recovery following injury.
3. To develop growth factors/RADA16-gel hybrid scaffolds as wound dressings.
4. To test the optimal hybrid in vivo and evaluate it’s efficacy.
Why my research is important
Burns are an extremely serious health problem globally. They can have overwhelming physical, psychological and social impacts on the patient. More than 300,000 people die annually from fires alone, with many more injured survivors.
Scars are the result of repair after any injury, whether from burns, trauma or elective surgery. In the developed world, 100 million people develop scars each year.
Although often considered trivial, they can be disfiguring, aesthetically unpleasant, functionally disabling and may cause severe discomfort through itching, tenderness and pain. Scars can also affect a person emotionally, potentially leading to depression and a diminished quality of life.
With improving burn care and decreased mortality, the recovery of function and reduction of scar formation has become increasingly important. One critical aspect of healing known to reduce scar formation is reducing the time to wound closure. In this research, we will apply tissue engineering strategies in an attempt to reduce scar formation and consequently improve the outcomes for burn patients.