Free-form beam shaping optics for biodegradable burn wound dressings 

01 January 2016 → 31 December 2019
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Catalysis and reacting systems engineering
    • Chemical product design and formulation
    • General chemical and biochemical engineering
    • Process engineering
    • Separation and membrane technologies
    • Transport phenomena
    • Other (bio)chemical engineering
Burn wound dressings biodegradable
Project description

Today conventional burn wound dressings are used to keep the wound clean and moist and to prevent infections, which now is done through hydrogel-based creams or homogeneous thin films. However, for severe burns it is also important to stimulate skin/tissue regeneration. In this project, VUB and UGent join forces to push the frontiers of free-form optics and photo-crosslinkable polymers to pave the way towards novel biodegradable wound dressings that have the necessary mechanical stability as well as architecture and feature sizes to stimulate tissue regeneration, what is lacking in today’s solutions. The first cornerstone activity of the project will deliver a galvanomirror- based laser scanning system in combination with novel free-form optics for writing fast wound dressings through two-photon polymerization. The free-form optics will be designed for dynamic laser beam shaping and for scanning with extended depth of field. Developing photocrosslinkable polymer building blocks based on gelatin, alginate and polyesters and synthesizing novel water soluble two-photon-initiators enabling efficient two-photon polymerization, is a second cornerstone activity of this project. The photo-crosslinkable polymers need to possess the required features in terms of processability, biocompatibility, optical transparency and photosensitivity. The polymer-based constructs will be designed, fabricated, characterised and turned into skin repair dressings with unprecedented multifunctionality.