Chronic wounds are an increasing burden to global health; 1-2% of individuals in Europe and the US will be affected in their lifetime by an injury which heals poorly, or not at all. Current treatments rely heavily on antibiotics and debridement of the wound’s biofilm which have proven to be ineffective and contribute to widespread antibiotic resistance. iGEM Team Stockholm 2016 aims to tackle these issues with a novel spider-silk-based wound healing technology.
Spider silk, a biodegradable and non-immunogenic material, will serve as a scaffold for attachment of anti-microbial ‘combat enzymes’. They will be
conjugated to the silk using a transpeptidase - Sortase A - and are intended to target key components of the biofilm formed by Staphylococcus aureus on wound surfaces. With this multi-targeted approach, we hope to develop a proof-of-concept system for the management of chronic wounds, envisioning future adaptations for a variety of medical and non-medical applications.