The research platform aims to improve and develop preventive skincare and wound treatment for diabetic foot ulcers by combining research carried out at the molecular level with clinical research. Our interdisciplinary approach is focused on establishing links between molecular skin properties and wound development, with the goal of enabling better risk assessment, prevention and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

Our research

Foot ulcers are one of the most severe consequences of diabetes and often lead to amputation. Diabetic foot ulcers often have a drastic effect on patients, families, health care systems and society, and many patients with foot ulcers become dependent on home nursing services.

We want to optimise personalised healthcare by bridging research within biomedical, pharmaceutical, and formulation sciences with research among doctors and nurses working in clinics. In order to do this, we focus on biophysical skin measurements as a way to uncover links between the condition of the skin (barrier properties of skin) and diabetes risk assessment, wound healing and prevention.

Our research aims to answer the following questions:

  • What self-care strategies are preferred by people with diabetes and how do nurses work to prevent diabetic foot ulcers?
  • How is the development, healing and prevention of diabetic foot ulcers related to the skin characteristics of individual patients?
  • How can we best develop personalised diabetes wound care which benefits from molecular skin characterisation and enables improved risk assessment and risk management, the optimal choice of topical formulations and wound treatments?
  • How can we offer people with diabetic foot ulcers customised wound care by taking into account the molecular skin properties of each individual patient?

Four core themes

Mapping of self-care and care to prevent diabetic foot ulcers

Knowledge of functioning self-care routines for preventing diabetic foot ulcers for people with diabetes is of value in order to adapt preventive care and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. How nurses work to prevent diabetic foot ulcers is important knowledge in order to be able to implement more individualised care and treatment.

Choice of skin characterisation methods and assessment of clinical relevance

Molecular or biophysical skin characterisation is not currently used to predict or justify the prevention of foot ulcers or wound care procedures for patients with diabetes. However, using this knowledge and observing skin changes systematically could very well improve risk assessment, lead to more frequent diabetic foot examinations, and allow the selection of adequate wound dressing. Our aim is to find the best molecular skin characterisation methods to motivate individualised preventive skin treatments and wound care for patients with diabetes.

Correlations between qualitative skin typing and biophysical skin parameters

Measuring a range of characteristics such as electrical impedance, transepidermal water loss, and skin hydration, we aim to find correlations between skin barrier conditions and biophysical/optical measurements. This is done in tandem with a rapidly developing electronics sector and involves external stakeholders working within innovation.

Translation of observations into personalised wound care

Drawing on the links between molecular, morphological and biochemical features of the skin and their effect on diabetic foot ulcer development, we aim to develop preventive skin treatment routines for patients with diabetes. We work with a network of clinical and industry partners in order to translate these findings into products, personalised risk assessments, prevention recommendations and improved healing procedures.