Bangor University is working on the development of an injectable gel to aid the recovery of wounds for people with diabetes.
This new project is among hundreds that will be conducted at Wales’ eight universities, which will receive £26m of funding from the European Union. It is part of the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships II (KESS II), led by Bangor University.
Researchers are planning on creating a polymer hydrogel that contains bio-compatible polymers. The aim is that these will tackle infections in wounds.
People with diabetes often find that wounds heal more slowly, and having prolonged high blood glucose levels can increase the risk of a wound worsening.
According to Dr Hongyun Tai, of Bangor University’s School of Chemistry, 25 per cent of patients worldwide will eventually develop a diabetic ulcer. This can lead to patients having reduced mobility, inability to work and in some cases, amputation.
The hydrogel system that Bangor University has developed looks to differentiate from current gels on the market. These gels normally bond with the body’s tissue, but removal of the dressing can cause damage to the wound.
This new dressing is designed to degrade on the wound over a required time, which means patients won’t have to remove it.
Some of the polymers in the dressing will be polyester-based, and “they can hold water; they have similar properties as soft tissue,” Dr Tai said. “And, also, we can formulate gels with certain nutrition and drugs inside.”
As part of the EU-funded project, Bangor University will team with a local company and a Ph.D student to develop the hydrogel system.

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