A chronic wound is a wound that has failed to proceed through an orderly and timely process to produce anatomic and functional integrity or a wound that has proceeded through the repair process without establishing a sustained anatomic and functional result. Chronicity of a wound results in a burden on health care facilities and it is not uncommon for it to be financially and emotionally draining for the patient. According to the latest data from the Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria, 15 million inpatient surgical procedures were performed between 2015 and 2017 alone, followed closely by over 11.1 million outpatient surgeries. The need for post-surgical wound care is sharply on the rise. Emergency wound care in an acute setting has major significance due to the presence of terrorism in Northern Nigeria due to Boko Haram insurgencies, as well as the unrest in southern Nigeria in the volatile areas where crude oil is drilled. The cost of this to the government is very low as the government does not fund health care, so there is a lot of needless death occurring due to unavailability of low-cost sustainable wound dressing materials to be used on chronic wounds, to avoid sepsis and disability due to amputations. Problems are closely linked to local social welfare and economic development. To solve these problems, a novel cost-effective wound dressing structure with the ability to speed up the healing process is needed.
In this collaborative interdisciplinary research project, Dr. Tsamis, Prof. Pan (University of Leicester), Dr. Ilomuanya (University of Lagos) and Dr. Wang (University of Manchester) aim at designing, fabricating, and evaluating a novel cost-effective wound dressing construct for rapid wound healing in resource-limited countries. The wound dressing construct, which will be designed and fabricated in Manchester using biomaterial prepared in Lagos based on plant extract, antimicrobial and growth factor (TAG), has the potential to facilitate wound healing in a resource-limited setting. The PhD project will be responsible for the computational and experimental evaluation of the mechanical response of the construct as a function of its microstructure, which will feed-back to improve the design of the construct.