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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Wound cleaning using a novel flushing system

Background

It is estimated that the management of chronic wounds (e.g. venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers and pressure ulcers) costs the NHS £2 – 3 Billion or 3% of the total NHS budget. This is a figure that is set to rise due to the predicted increase in patients who will develop chronic wounds, such as those with diabetes and with the increase in antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria.

Bacteria and biofilm within a wound model

One of the main problems that make chronic wounds difficult to heal is the presence of bacterial biofilms, which are often resistant to antimicrobials and difficult to remove effectively. We need to develop more effective methods to remove wound biofilms, whilst limiting damage to the surrounding tissue, and promote healing.

The image on the left is a micrograph of planktonic Pseudomonas Aeuriginosa rod shaped bacteria and early biofilm (clumped cells formation) within a wound model.

 

Our research

This project brings together the expertise of researchers from health sciences, biological sciences and engineering to develop and test the efficiency of bacteria/biofilm decontamination from different wound models (pig skin and human skin culture). Biofilms of MRSA and Pseudomonas Aeuriginosa, which both demonstrate AMR, will be grown in the wound models, decontaminated using a novel flushing system, and the remaining bacteria will be directly analysed within the wound using sensitive microscopy. Tests will also be carried out to determine if there is any cell damage caused by the wound treatment.

 

NAMRIP Project Team - Dr. David Voegeli (Project lead), Dr. Thomas Secker, Prof. Bill Keevil and Prof. Tim Leighton.

This project is funded by the EPSRC Network for Antimicrobial Action, 'Bridging the Gap' programme, EP/M027260/1 (Round 2 of NAMRIP Pump Priming).

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