Portuguese researchers develop smart wound dressing

Developed by 3B's Group of the University of Minho

Grupo 3B's from the University of Minho is creating an innovative dressing for skin lesions, based on hydrogels, which maintains moisture for active healing and which manages to release biomolecules adapted to the patient's wound.

The project, led by Rui L. Reis, received a grant of 150 euros from the European Research Council (ERC), in the pillar that promotes scientific excellence in the European Commission, in order to support the entry of that innovation in the treatment market of wounds, which can impact the lives of millions of people.

The "proof of concept" scholarship (Proof of Concept) is only the tenth attributed to Portuguese, out of a total of 905 European scientists distinguished since 2011.

This is an additional amount exclusively for ERC scholarship holders, that is, those who have projects considered the most prestigious in Europe, thus allowing them to guarantee the intellectual property of the results obtained and to point out strategies for the market.

Rui L. Reis had won an advanced grant of 2.35 million euros with the “ComplexiTE” project and now competed for the “proof of concept” with “Patched”, receiving the maximum amount of this grant.


The team: Alexandra Marques, Luca Gasperini, Rui L. Reis and Carlos Guimarães

The amount allocated will allow the production, by the end of 2020, of an innovative dressing/adhesive prototype based on hydrogel fibers, capable of releasing various biomolecules onto the skin, at controlled times, ensuring a better and more efficient wound recovery, says Rui L .Kings.

"By customizing the composition, size and shape of the components, a release of biomolecules in the different healing microenvironments will be achieved, improving wound regeneration and the action of the dressing during the wound healing period", explains the also vice-versa. -Rector for Research and Innovation at UMinho.

The idea is, at the end of the project, to create business opportunities, with the creation of a start-up and its financing to bring the product to market.

Skin wounds are a significant social and economic problem, associated with an ongoing need for treatment. Most adhesives and dressings available on the market have been very helpful in managing wound care, but have not had a direct effect on healing progression.

The proposed new "Patch" intends to substantially improve the treatment of skin lesions during the healing time, thanks to a "dynamic and cooperative effect" of the technology, allowing benefits in the patient's quality of life, in the functionality of the new skin, as well as in the cost reduction in the health system.


Author Communication, Information and Image Office – University of Minho
Science in the Regional Press – Ciência Viva