At a University of Leicester public lecture, Dr. Toby Jenkins, a leading researcher in nano-biotechnology and Head of Biophysical Chemistry Research at the University in Bath, will enlighten students on the mysteries of nano-biotechnology by demonstrating how it can be applied to an exciting novel medical development.

Across five countries in Europe, research is currently underway applying this science to the production of a state-of-the-art medical wound dressing which monitors if a burn or wound has become infected by bacteria. The dressing is designed to automatically release an antimicrobial agent if the wound becomes infected, if the infection continues, the dressing changes color in order to alert the patient or clinicians.

The lecture, being hosted by the University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Science on 24 November, is called “A smart wound dressing concept for detecting and treating infection in pediatric burns wounds.”

Although the problem of infection, particularly with the development of drug-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, is well known, less is known that infection is a cause of death in half of all individuals who die as a result of thermal burns.

The focal point of the technology being developed by Jenkins and his team is to treat young children’s burns. In the lecture, Jenkins will explain the clinical context, how this new technology will make a difference to the clinical outcomes of burnt children in the future, and why they are focusing on children.

Derek Raine, Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Science explained:

“Applications of nanotechnology to biology is a core example of a field of research that crosses the boundaries between the traditional disciplines and lies at the heart of the motivation for the development of our undergraduate program in Interdisciplinary Science that encompasses these boundaries.

As head of the leading cross-disciplinary research institute we are particularly delighted to welcome Dr. Toby Jenkins to talk to our Interdisciplinary Science undergraduates at Leicester, and please to be able to open up the lecture to a wider audience.”

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Science gathers academic staff from the University’s College of Science and Engineering in order to provide teaching across the various science disciplines. It’s Interdisciplinary Science Guest Research Lecture aims to provide a lecture for both non-experts as well as undergraduates who have an interest in science to attend and to raise awareness of current interdisciplinary research topics.

The lecture begins at 5pm in Room E, on the 1st floor of the Physics and Astronomy department at the University of Leicester. The lecture is free to attend, but to register for the following drinks reception e-mail:

Written by Grace Rattue