University of Leeds, United Kingdom
When skin is injured, a repair response commences beginning with the formation of a blood clot, reducing blood loss. A main contributor of clot formation is a protein called fibrin. It forms a 3D mesh, capturing blood cells, producing a plug at the site of injury. The tissue repair process follows, but disruption by infection can lead to a painful wound that fails to heal.
I recently discovered that fibrin forms continuous films along the air-blood interface at sites of external injury. Films form rapidly after injury, forming an almost instant barrier against infection. I will study how long these films prevent infection and if they can stop infection becoming systemic. I will investigate if infection prevention by films aid the wound healing process.
The overall goal of my research is to better understand the role of fibrin films, uncovering new pathways to improve infection prevention and wound healing.