On the 26th of January 2017, the DERMA project held its opening event at the Arora Hotel, Gatwick. An audience of stakeholders comprised of researchers, clinicians, representatives of patient groups, and wound care product developers from industry, were welcomed and introduced to the project by Dr Iain Allan, scientist and lead partner of DERMA.
Invited speakers from the consortium then gave a series of talks aimed at informing both the audience and the consortium members on the theme of “Shaping the Future of Chronic Dermal Wound Management”.
First to present was Rachel Forss, of the Leaf Hospital, University of Brighton, which offers a specialist podiatry service. Rachel gave a comprehensive talk concerning, “The biology and clinical management of chronic dermal wounds”, drawing on her extensive, first-hand experience of foot ulcer management.
Professor Peter Dubruel, of the Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Group of the University of Ghent, subsequently gave an exciting talk on the near future of biomaterials development (including for this project) entitled, “The scientific potential for novel wound dressings: the case for polymers”.
Next up was Dr Cressida Bowyer of Enterprise and Innovation, Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (led by Professor Joan Farrer), University of Portsmouth showcasing, “The involvement of creative industries in healthcare innovations”. This presentation included the unveiling of our first formal project outputs: two computer animations depicting the potential functionality of the wound dressings to be developed in our DERMA project.
Finally, Professor Matteo Santin, President of the European Society for Biomaterials, Brighton Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Brighton, gave a very informative and necessary overview of the regulatory steps required to be met during “The commercialisation of wound dressings and route to market”.
Prior to a networking session, a productive Q & A panel discussion with audience participation was held with Paul Gard, Professor of Experimental Therapeutics, University of Brighton, taking the chair. In addition to the speakers, the panel was joined by Professor Adrian Bone, Head of the Diabetes Research Group, University of Brighton, Derek Ward of the University of Portsmouth Ageing Network, and Dr Rory Smith, formerly Head of Research and Development, Johnson and Johnson Medical Ltd and R&D Director, Welland Medical Ltd.
The event was filmed and highlights will be showcased, along with our computer animations, on the project’s website – watch this space!
Dr Iain Allan