Home
National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre
Our Research: Dermatology

Wound healing

There are at least 17 different categories of wound dressings and treatments and for most there is no good research evidence that they improve wound healing. We want to better understand factors that affect wound healing in order to develop more effective treatments.

At least 80,000 people in the UK have an open, complex wound and the NHS spends approximately £3bn annually on wound care.

Research is yet to identify many effective treatments for healing complex wounds such as leg and foot ulcers. This poor progress may be due to our limited understanding of the precise factors that hinder or promote healing.

We’re working to establish a greater understanding of these factors, to improve our ability to target effective treatments.

Through our research we are:

  • Identifying, from existing research, factors which may be treatment targets because they influence wound healing; we will also identify factors which predict healing and those which predict treatment response
  • Exploring new approaches to wound diagnosis and monitoring by evaluating how valid, reliable and clinically useful new techniques are
  • Establishing clinical cohorts in defined patient groups to test out whether candidate prognostics factors really do help to define patient groups, predict outcomes including treatment response and whether modifying prognostic factors with specific treatments may improve patient outcomes
  • Using our deeper understanding of prediction, diagnostic and therapeutic factors to develop a more personalised approach to the management of complex wounds