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Engineering Dis-Bondable Adhesives Inspired from Marine Mussel Foot Proteins for Applications as in Advanced Wound and Ostomy Care



Wound management has been estimated to account for 5% of all health service expenditure in the UK and around 2 million patients suffering acute or
chronic wounds each year. Advanced wound dressings are an important product used in wound treatment by providing an ideal healing environment.
However, 80-85% of costs come from nursing time and hospital costs with the fact that, on average, a wound dressing needs to be replaced at least 3 times
per week. As well as the cost of care, this can place a physical and emotional burden on the patient. Removal of dressings in particular puts the patient at
risk of incurring skin damage, a problem particularly affecting old people or young babies who have very delicate skin. We are tackling this problem by
developing a new glue, to use in wound care that will increase the time a dressing can be worn and allow for easier, less painful removal when the dressing
needs to be changed.
At Zentraxa, the lead applicant in this proposal, we have been developing a new type of biological glue, which is inspired by how shellfish stick to surfaces in
the sea. We can increase or decrease the strength of the glue by using enzymes that link together (to increase strength) or break apart (to decrease
strength) the glue. In this project we will explore whether our naturally inspired glues can safely be used to stick wound dressings to a range of skin types.
We expect that our glues will be used on the edge of a dressing, firmly fixing the dressing in place and forming a watertight seal around the wound
preventing infection from entering. When the dressing needs to be removed a spray will be applied that will weaken the glue allowing for the dressing to be
peeled off without damaging the skin.