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Researchers collaborate to develop smart skin grafts

Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State College of Engineering researchers are teaming up to create smart skin grafts that can both improve the wound monitoring process and expedite healing in chronic wounds.

Nearly 35 million people in the U.S. with diabetes face a common outcome of dysregulated glucose: chronic, slow‐healing wounds. These wounds can decrease quality of life and may lead to amputations and life-threatening infections.

Dr. Dino Ravnic, associate professor of surgery, and David Craft, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, will join Huanyu “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Professor in Penn State’s Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, on the $619,556, three-year project, sponsored by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

“Foot ulcers can take months to years to heal,” Cheng said. “If we can achieve early wound monitoring and prevent complications in the beginning, the healing process is better off.”

Cheng and the team aim to develop a device that offers the same healing benefits of a traditional skin graft — where healthy skin is used to cover damaged tissue — while also allowing for wound assessment without removal of a covering.

Read more about the project on Penn State News

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