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Project 2

Microbial contribution to wound regeneration

This is a cooperation project with the Department for Paediatric Surgery at Dresden University Hospital (Dr. Jurek Schultz, Prof. Dr. Guido Fitze). Traumatic injuries of the distal phalanx are a common reason for presentation to paediatric surgeons in childhood. These injuries are currently treated using a conservative therapeutic approach with film dressings. At the Department for Paediatric Surgery, University Hospital Dresden, a finger orthosis was developed in order to increase the acceptance of this therapy among children. In the course of individual therapy trials and a clinical study, it was demonstrated that this therapeutic approach results in an almost complete regeneration of the finger end phalanx and scar-free healing. Furthermore, no infections were detected. The administration of antibiotics was also not necessary. Using this orthosis, wound secretions can also be removed on a weekly basis. There is increasing evidence in the scientific literature that bacteria may also support wound healing. In the course of the clinical study, bacteria were isolated and samples from wound secretions preserved. Both amplicon and metagenome analyses will be carried out in order to understand how the bacterial flora changes during the wound healing process and which functional genes of bacteria are expressed. We also want to understand how the metabolism of the bacteria adapts under altered environmental conditions and whether this positively influences wound healing. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop new approaches to wound therapy.