Engineering hybrid nanofibrous membranes with superior moisture regulation and controlled antimicrobial action for future wound dressings

01 November 2021 → 31 October 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Materials processing
    • Materials synthesis
    • Polymer processing
    • Functional materials
    • Textiles
Smart superior moisture regulating nanofibers Electrospinning of hydrophilic/hydrophobic biocompatible polymers Controlled release of active pharmaceutical ingredients
Project description

As severe burns are a leading cause of morbidity, proper wound care is crucial. Treating burns requires specific care to provide an infection-free and moist environment. As such, advanced dressings are essential, however, no all-round dressings for every burn exist and the demand remains pressing. Our aim is to innovate novel wound dressings by combining both moisture regulation, antimicrobial action and conformability in one single dressing. The material needs will be met by engineering hybrid, electrospun nanofibrous structures, for which the novel, versatile poly(2-oxazoline) platform with a tunable hydrophilicity will be employed. This allows for the targeted design of a nanofibrous material with optimal moisture-managing properties. Moreover, electrospinning is ideally suited for doping bioactive agents and controlling the release rate. Innovatively linking moisture uptake with drug release in the nanofibrous structures enables an optimal and prolonged antiseptic action to prevent and treat infection during wound healing. Lastly, the mechanical properties will be examined and modified to improve membrane stability and conformability. Our findings, based on hybrid nanofibrous structures with the desired material properties, will significantly advance the preparation of widely applicable multifunctional wound dressings. This outcome will reduce healthcare costs and increase patient comfort, thus resulting in a major societal impact.