Research database

PROTECTED - By-PROducts based innovative TEchnologies for green and low Cost acTivE wounD dressings

Duration:
24 months (2025)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
PNRR – Mission 4
Funding body:
MINISTERO (MINISTERO DELL'UNIVERSITA' E RICERCA)
PoliTo role:
Partner

Abstract

Proper wound management plays a pivotal role in preventing post-surgical complications, thus reducing hospitalization time and costs. An ideal active dressing should i) support mechanical stress, ii) absorb exudate, iii) reduce bleeding, iv) prevent infections and v) prevent inflammation. None of the available active dressing cover these needs and their high costs make them inaccessible to most of population. So, PROTECTED aim at the ambitious goal to provide innovative technologies for active dressing enabling the use of raw materials within a virtuous product chain based on the conversion of industrial by-products into high value products through green and sustainable technologies. Due to the low cost of materials, dressings will be inexpensive and accessible for most of the population. The base material is discarded wool; via green synthesis keratin is extracted, and nanofibers are electrospun or 3D printed. The re-use of discarded wool allows converting by-products into new high added value materials. To bestow antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, polyphenolic extracts from different green sources will be obtained using hydroalcoholic mixtures. The use of agri-food by-products allows to convert by-products into new bioactive compounds. In addition, polyphenols protect skin from UV irradiation as well as they hold a pH-dependent color change, which can be exploited as fast and easy detection tool to recognize the raise of an infection. This tool can reduce the hospitalization time due to professional nursing, thus reducing the Public Health costs. The chemical manipulation of the polyphenolic extracts by the introduction of heavy chalcogens (e.g. S and Se) or the reactions with amino acids (e.g. lysine) may also offer unexplored opportunities in the polyphenols’ properties’ knowledge. The keratin surface-functionalization will be obtained by means of green procedures using water solutions. From the Scientific point of view, PROTECTED is expected to provide significant technological advances in the basic knowledge of coupling polyphenols with proteins, a still poor explored field in literature. Finally, given the keratin biomechanical properties and the bioactivity of the polyphenols, a deep biological characterization will validate their potential exploitation in the wound management. In conclusion, the PROTECTED technologies are expected allowing for i) antibacterial, ii) anti-inflammatory and iii) pro-regenerative properties. The coupling of polyphenols and keratin from industrial by-products allows matching the Strategic Topic of Circular Economy, Health Cluster “Health technologies, new tools and digital solutions are applied effectively thanks to their inclusive, secure and ethical development, delivery and integration in health policies and health and care systems” as shematized in the Figure 1 below.

Structures

Partners

  • C.N.R. - CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE
  • POLITECNICO DI TORINO - AMMINISTRAZIONE CENTRALE
  • UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DEL PIEMONTE ORIENTALE - Coordinator
  • UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI FEDERICO II

Keywords

ERC sectors

PE5_3 - Surface modification
PE5_7 - Biomaterials, biomaterials synthesis

Sustainable Development Goals

Obiettivo 3. Assicurare la salute e il benessere per tutti e per tutte le età

Budget

Total cost: € 298,483.00
Total contribution: € 298,483.00
PoliTo total cost: € 64,981.00
PoliTo contribution: € 64,981.00