Wound treatment wins commercialisation funds

Improved wound healing technology could be used to treat burn injuries.

Improved wound healing technology could be used to treat burn injuries.
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Associate Professor Allison Cowin.
Photo courtesy of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Associate Professor Allison Cowin.
Photo courtesy of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

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Thursday, 28 January 2010

A new treatment that could one day benefit burns victims, diabetes sufferers and the elderly - by fast tracking the healing of chronic wounds - has taken another step towards commercialisation.

Research by Associate Professor Allison Cowin, from the Women's and Children's Health Research Institute and the University of Adelaide's Discipline of Surgery, has today received a $529,450 Development Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

NHMRC Development Grants provide funding for health and medical research projects, helping to progress research out of the laboratory and towards commercialisation and application in the real world.

Associate Professor Cowin and her research team have developed antibodies to speed up the healing of chronic wounds, such as burns and ulcers.

They found that a specific protein known as Flightless I (Flii) restricts wound healing. The Adelaide researchers have been able to use antibodies to suppress the Flii protein, thereby promoting wound healing.

"Improving wound healing has the potential to benefit a large proportion of the Australian community, particularly the aged, the obese and patients with diabetes, all of whom are at increased risk of developing chronic, non-healing ulcers," Associate Professor Cowin says.

"This new technology will also have applications for treating burn injuries and surgical wounds," she says.

"When a wound heals faster, the body is better protected against blood loss and infection. But in its haste to heal, the body also creates scar tissue that can cause chronic pain, deformity and disability.

"The medical need for improved wound healing will only expand as our population ages and the diabetic epidemic grows."

Associate Professor Cowin says further research into the treatment is needed and it could be as many as 10 years before such a treatment is available to the public.

 

Contact Details

Associate Professor Allison Cowin
Email: allison.cowin@adelaide.edu.au
Women's & Children's Health Research Institute
and Affiliate, Discipline of Surgery
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8161 7077
Mobile: 0420 375 138


Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762