Wound Healing In Space: Key challenges towards Intelligent and Enabling Sensing platforms

Project Details


Wound management represents a substantial economic burden for the European and worldwide healthcare systems, especially in remote areas, and a critical aspect for the overall safety of future human space exploration missions. In Space, communication lags and long, if not unrealistic, evacuation times to reach Earth demand for an integrated approach involving medical knowledge and autonomous decisions to face emergency situations. To tackle this latter point, possibly relying on new and improved dressing materials, sensing technologies, and predictive models, the WHISKIES partnership will focus its efforts to:
• Increase knowledge on the underlying fundamental physics concepts and phenomena on which wound assessment and monitoring is based
• Improve theoretical and computational models to pave the way for the development of more robust and more accurate sensing elements
• Understand the effects of gravity and lack thereof on the materials for dressing and sensing, including ageing, structural, molecular, and configurational changes in order to generate protocols and procedure optimized for non-terrestrial environment
• Introduce gravity-related effects in the design and optimization of sensing elements
• Develop and enhance models, algorithms, and statistics capable of predicting wound healing status and suggest appropriate actions through intelligent data analysis

The University of Brighton will perform numerical simulations for the optimization of the bandage characteristics (topology, porosity, wettability) with respect to the physical properties of the exudate and gravity conditions. From a fluid-dynamics point of view, the rate of exudate absorption into wound dressings is governed by the interaction of two immiscible fluids, with a clearly defined interface between them; Ambient air that pre-exists in the pore structure of the wound dressing at the moment of application and the liquid exudate that leaks out from the affected wound. Hence, the actual resulting absorption rate is interplay of the following fluid dynamics related mechanisms:
• Two-phase flow Interface dynamics between gaseous and liquid fluid phases
• Capillary action within micro-passages
• Wettability
Effective start/end date15/05/2030/06/23


  • European Space Agency


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