Our Projects

Advanced fibre bandages

Project description and overview:

The project will utilise short polymer fibre (SPF) biomaterial manufactured via a novel, patented method developed at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials with commercial partners (HeiQ Australia and Cytomatrix). Unlike the conventional electrospinning method of manufacturing polymer fibers, this novel manufacturing method is highly efficient, is extremely versatile both in terms of the dimensions of the fibre produced and the possible polymer composition and is gentle enough that it does not damage biological molecules. This means that biological molecules can be incorporated into biodegradable SPF during manufacture. These biologicals are then slowly released from the SPF at a specific target site such as a chronic wound.

Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) plays an important role in wound repair, as well as being an immune stimulating factor that causes migration of immune cells to wound sites. Clinical studies have demonstrated that local application of GM-CSF promoted wound healing of burns and chronic ulcers. GM-CSF is slowly released from SPF over time and remains biologically active. The process of incorporation into SPF actively protects GM-CSF, increasing its stability compared to GM-CSF in solution giving it enhanced longevity. This project will investigate and optimise the incorporation and release profile of GM-CSF in SPF manufactured from two other biocompatible polymers, such as gelatine and chitosan. These unique, functionalised SPF will be the basis for new healthcare products to enter the global chronic wound care market, reducing the financial burden on the healthcare system and the frequency of antibiotic use in chronic wound care.

The initial product will be focused on promoting self-healing of chronic wounds, which will reduce the financial burden on the healthcare sector and reduce the use of antibiotics and therefore the development of antibiotic resistance bacteria, and generate significant revenue and employment within Victoria.

EXPECTED IMPACT

  • Higher spending on R&D to enable development of the biological application
  • Larger patent portfolio 

EXPECTED GROWTH

  • The initial product will be focused on promoting self-healing of chronic wounds, which will reduce the financial burden on the healthcare sector and reduce the use of antibiotics and therefore the development of antibiotic resistance bacteria. Chronic wound care is a large and rapidly growing sector due to the increase in the proportion of the population developing diabetes and living longer, both high risk factors of chronic wound development.
Contributions:

Government Funds: $50,000 | Industry: $50,000 | In-Kind: $159,366

Project Participants