The research platform aims to improve and modernise diabetes wound care by combining research carried out on a molecular level and in clinics. Our multidisciplinary approach focusses on establishing correlations between skin type 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, family, 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 skin typing, a system used to characterise skin, as a way to uncover links between skin type and diabetes risk assessment, wound healing and prevention.

Our research aims to answer the following questions:

  • how is the development, healing and prevention of diabetic foot ulcers related to skin characteristics of individual patients?
  • how can we best develop personalised diabetes wound care which benefits from skin typing and enables improved risk assessment and risk management, optimal choice of topical formulations and wound treatments?
  • how can we justify personalised diabetes wound care by accounting for the skin type of each individual patient?

Three core themes

Skin typing is not currently used to predict or justify diabetes wound care procedures. 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 goal is to find the best skin typing system for justifying personalised procedures in diabetes wound care.

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

Drawing on the links between skin typing and skin characteristics, our research outlines a molecular understanding of how morphological and biochemical features in skin are reflected in diabetic foot ulcer development. 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.