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Regenerative medicine offers hope for untreatable disease and the ageing population, improved quality of life and reduced medical costs. With recent scientific discoveries opening up new approaches to regenerative medicine, the challenge is to use these to extend the regenerative approach to major diseases and conditions.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a clinically approved, minimally invasive therapeutic procedure with applications in different fields including oncology, dermatology, ophthalmology and microbial disease. PDT is based on combined action of three elements: (i) photosensitizing agent (photosensitizer, PS), (ii) oxygen and (iii) appropriate wavelength light to excite the PS. This triad leads to the generation of singlet oxygen (1O2) and Reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Depending on the dose, PDT can either stimulate vital cellular functions or exert cytotoxic effects.
A valuable property of PDT in the field of wound care is the possibility to associate regenerative and antimicrobial effects. Infection often compromises healing of chronic wounds.
Growing evidence supports the efficacy of PDT against wound pathogens both in in vitro and in vivo settings and in stimulating the wound healing.
PHA and alginate are natural biopolymers with a considerable interest in the biomedical field due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, versatility and to the possible sustainable production using industrial food waste as substrates. These biomaterials have been proposed for several applications in tissue engineering and have shown promising results as wound dressing materials (biodegradable scaffolds, reservoirs for the release of bioactive compounds).The objective of this project is to create a medicated wound dressing of PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates) and alginate biopolymers assembled with a photosensitizer. This device should improve healing of chronic cutaneous wounds by stimulating skin regeneration and exerting an antimicrobial action, exploiting a photodynamic therapy approach.
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