Customized, biomedically applicable materials based on tropoelastin, a human protein, are being developed in Halle, Germany, in a joint project by Skinomics GmbH, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems. The material combines biocompatibility, durability, biodegradability and favorable mechanical properties similar to those of skin. Preclinical tests have confirmed that it is suitable as a wound dressing material used in the treatment of chronic and complex wounds, such as venous ulcers, leg ulcers or foot ulcers. The researchers succeeded in developing a biotechnological process for modifying tropoelastin, which was processed in an electrospinning procedure to produce ultrathin nanofibers. The resulting nonwovens were further crosslinked to stabilize them for the respective application. Photo: © Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems.