Innovate UK PVOH development

Project: Central government, health and local authorities

Project Details


a) Project aim

Wound infections can prevent healing and lead to sepsis if untreated. Caring for patients with possible wound infections is expensive. We aim to test our ground-breaking infection-detecting dressing which _changes colour if a wound is becoming infected._

Effective in the laboratory, and successfully tested in an off-patient clinical study, the dressing must be tested on patients. Manufactured under controlled conditions to allow testing on consenting burn patients, the study must show that the wound dressing is safe, the added technology does not interfere with how the dressing works, and that the dressing can detect if the wound is infected or not.

b) Research Background

The dressing, developed over 8 years at the University of Bath, glows bright green when dangerous bacteria begin to cause harm. It will help NHS staff understand when a wound _is_ or _is not_ infected. Infection can delay healing, cause pain, increase scarring and lengthen hospital stay. However, we currently cannot immediately diagnose wound infection. Doctors therefore need to assume infection and treat, often unnecessarily, by removing dressings and using antibiotics, increasing bacterial resistance, costing money and affecting patient outcomes and quality of life.

c) Production of the dressing

Will be a partnership between PVOH and the University of Bath, but with final dressing assembly and distribution via the multi-national healthcare products manufacturer, Paul Hartmann AG (

d) Usage of the dressing

The dressing will be used at the first routine change of dressings, two days after injury, and will stay until the following dressing change, three to five days later. We will compare the dressing response to the presence of wound infection. The dressing should _not_ change colour with _no_ infection and _should_ change colour if there _is_ infection. Infection will be determined by senior burn doctors - unaware of the dressing colour.
Effective start/end date1/11/1831/10/19

Collaborative partners


  • Innovate UK


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