Customized, biomedically applicable materials based on tropoelastin, a human protein, are being developed in a joint project by Skinomics GmbH from Halle, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS. The material combines biocompatibility, durability, biodegradability and favorable mechanical properties similar to those of skin.
Preclinical tests have confirmed that it is suitable as a wound dressing material used in the treatment of chronic and complex wounds, such as venous ulcers, leg ulcers or foot ulcers. The researchers succeeded in developing a biotechnological process for modifying tropoelastin, which was processed in an electrospinning procedure to produce ultra-thin nanofibers. The resulting nonwovens were further crosslinked to stabilize them for the respective application.
The researchers have determined that biomedical parameters such as pore size, stability and mechanical properties can be customized to meet the requirements of a specific wound treatment. The materials produced using the new procedures are being investigated by Skinomics GmbH in initial preclinical tests and have already achieved promising results.