Anna Worsley Cohort Four participant

Anna Worsley

Royal Veterinary College

Anna Worsley

An Advanced Hydrogel Treatment for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

A multifunctional hydrogel treatment has been developed that utilises unique targets to treat diabetic ulcers. The hydrogels contain nanoparticles to improve active component delivery and are thermoresponsive to improve application and wound health. The hydrogels are currently undergoing initial in vivo analysis with plans for larger trials during the programme.

An advanced hydrogel treatment has been developed that utilises unique targets to treat diabetic foot ulcers. Diabetic foot ulcers are chronic wounds that develop in response to a variety of pathologies related to diabetes, including ischemia and hyperglycaemia. They are characterised as being chronically inflamed, preventing the continuation of normal wound healing processes. 9.1 million to 26.1 million people with diabetes worldwide develop a diabetic foot ulcer annually (1), with 25% of patients with diabetes developing foot ulcers during their lifetime (2). Despite modern treatment options 33% never heal (3). The developed hydrogels aim to trigger healing in these chronic wounds by targeting multiple issues concerning diabetic foot ulcer pathology. As part of the hydrogel’s multifunctionality, they include a unique target not currently used in modern treatment options that has recently been identified as an important player in diabetic foot ulcer pathology. The gels also have thermoresponsive capabilities to benefit application and wound health and utilise nanoparticle technology for the efficient delivery of multiple active components. The hydrogels are currently undergoing initial in vivo analysis with plans for larger trials during the programme.


References: 1. Armstrong DG, Boulton AJM, Bus SA. Diabetic foot ulcers and their recurrence. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(24):2367-75., 2. Davis FM, Kimball A, Boniakowski A, Gallagher K. Dysfunctional Wound Healing in Diabetic Foot Ulcers: New Crossroads. Current Diabetes Reports 2018;18., 3. Portou MJ, Yu R, Baker D, Xu S, Abraham D, Tsui J. Hyperglycaemia and Ischaemia Impair Wound Healing via Toll-like Receptor 4 Pathway Activation in vitro and in an Experimental Murine Model. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2020;59(1):117-27.

Apply for Cohort Four

Focusing on novel solutions that address the Future of Pain our Challenge Accelerator Programme offers a salary replacement to take six-months (full-time) away from the lab to develop a medical technology into a business venture. The programme offers entrepreneurship masterclasses, specialist advice, access to co-working space and an allowance for travel and consumables (up to £45,000).

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