Bath Science Café: tackling burns in children

The Bath Science Café will meet on Monday 10 January to hear how researchers are using nanotechnology to develop a medical dressing which will detect and treat infection in wounds.

The research is part of a multi-million pound joint project with the Barbara Russell Children’s Unit at Frenchay Hospital and teams across Europe and Australia, to develop the ‘next generation’ of dressings for children with burns.

The talk will be given by University of Bath project leader, Dr Toby Jenkins and Dr Amber Young, clinical consultant on the project, based at Frenchay.

On average over 4,300 children each year suffer burn injuries requiring admission to hospital in England and Wales, of which around 55% are scalds.  Most are small in area, 80% are in children under five years and the majority are due to hot drink spillages.

One of the primary problems in the treatment of burns is bacterial infection, which can delay healing, increase pain and the risk of scarring and in some cases cause death.

The project is developing an advanced wound dressing which will target treatment before the infection takes hold.

University of Bath project leader, Dr Toby Jenkins said: “Your skin is normally home to billions of ‘friendly’ bacteria, which it needs to stay healthy.

“The dressing is only triggered by disease-causing bacteria, which produce toxins that break open capsules containing the antibiotics and dye.

“This means that antibiotics are only released when needed, which reduces the risk of the evolution of new antibiotic-resistant super-bugs such as MRSA.”

The Science Café talk will be held in The Raven pub in Queen Street in the centre of Bath. No tickets or reservations are required – everyone is welcome to turn up at 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

Organisers will ask for a small voluntary donation to cover travel costs for the speakers.

To register for email alerts about Science Café events please contact Professor Rod Scott at the University of Bath at

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