For the 2013, Year of Innovation, the Department of Biomaterials will continue to focus on our applied driven research. One of the projects we will focus on in 2013, is the Oxicare project. This project is developing a promising wound dressing, that use titanium dioxide particles.
Oxicare - Brief summary
Recent research into the utilisation of these particles has centred on activating them by exposure to UV light. The Department of Biomaterials has developed an alternative method of activating the particles by exposing them to hydrogen peroxide. This has helped to make titanium dioxide a viable choice, which is cheaper and more biocompatible than the current alternatives.
When introduced into a wound, the activated titanium oxide particle will specifically destroy the membrane of bacterial cells without harming the body’s own cells that are inherently resistant against their action. Once it has fulfilled this function, the particle will return to its natural and safe state; it can then be easily removed and dissolved by the body’s immune system without any harmful effect.
The advantage of this approach is that there is no need for antibiotics. The use of antibiotics is currently reduced in healthcare due to the prevalence of multiple-drug-resistant bacteria, commonly referred to as superbugs. As titanium dioxide is not drug-based, bacteria is much less prone to develop or inherit resistance to it. As such, it can be used widely for long periods.
For more information about the Oxicare project, please contact the Department of Biomaterials