ACADI Grant Awarded to Rachael Moses' Program

Congratulations to Rachael Moses on her recent ACADI grant award for the project entitled: Development of a 3D diabetic skin model, using animal-origin-free products, for evaluation of novel wound healing therapeutics.


Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) represent significant causes of patient pain, disability, and morbidity; incidence of these chronic non-healing wounds is rising, in line with an ageing population, and increased prevalence of type II diabetes and obesity. It has been estimated that 19-34% of people with diabetes are likely to develop a DFU; within the Australian population, this equates to ≈45,000 patients with a diabetes-related foot disease. Alongside the tremendous impact on the patients' quality of life, there is a large cost to healthcare systems in treating these wounds. Within Australia, there is a higher proportion of minor amputation procedures performed than the global average, indicating the community care treatment modalities are not sufficiently preventing amputation.

Despite the plethora of wound healing therapies available, the rate of recurrence remains high; alternative therapies are required to strengthen existing treatment modalities to reduce ulcer recurrence and subsequent amputation. The high treatment failure rate is thought to be due to a paucity of models able to accurately represent the diabetic wound scenario and therefore unable to evaluate treatment efficacy; to address this treatment failure, a more representative model is greatly needed.

The proposed project will develop a diabetic 3D wound model, using human-derived diabetic sourced cells, which will provide a more representative model of DFUs, allowing novel therapeutics to be assessed effectively. As type II diabetes mellitus patients have an impaired wound healing response, cells will be obtained from these patients to replicate the differences in wound healing capacity compared to the healthy population.