Development of theranostic wound dressings: harnessing the knowledge of biospecific interactions at the biomaterial interface to promote healing and identify biomarkers

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-165
Number of pages3
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper is supported by the UKRI Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, grant number EP/W023164/1.

Funding Information:
Although of high interest, these findings have not been linked to the well-established principles of biomaterial biocompatibility that demonstrate that biomaterial surface properties can lead to the adsorption of a wider range of proteins. These proteins play a role either in the cellular biochemical signaling pathways (i.e. pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors) or as structural components of the extracellular matrix of tissues (e.g. fibronectin and laminin). Depending on the hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonds occurring upon adsorption on polymeric surface, these proteins may either retain their native conformation or undergo denaturation. In the former case, they maintain their biochemical role either in cell signaling or as substrates. In the latter case, they are likely to become antigens capable of activating immune cells, thus protracting the inflammatory response into a chronic status []. In the case of the biomaterials used for manufacturing the absorbent layer of wound dressings, the absorption throughout the mesh of the hydrogels can lead to an additional phenomenon that is the concentration of either favorable or unfavorable proteins and cells within the wound bed. It is therefore argued that a systematic study of the interactions between the biochemical and cellular components of the exudate and the wound dressing biomaterials could indeed drive the development of theranostic wound dressings. It is suggested that these developments could focus on the surface functionalisation of the currently used biomaterials rather than searching for completely new solutions. This is the approach that the authors will be following at the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Devices (CRMD), University of Brighton through a 6-year research project supported by the UK Research and Innovation, Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC).


  • Chronic wounds
  • wound dressings
  • theranostics
  • biomimetic biomaterials
  • healing biomarkers

Cite this