This blog post was co-authored by Alison Hyland.

Researchers in the University Hospital of Cologne, Germany, are currently trying to gain a better understanding of the complications of wound healing in those who have Recessive Dystrophic EB.

Professor Sabine Eming and her research team are hopeful through gaining this understanding, they can develop new methods to improve the healing of chronic wounds. Chronic wounds are one of the most debilitating symptoms of Recessive Dystrophic EB. 

The research project, funded by DEBRA Ireland and DEBRA UK, particularly focuses in on the role of macrophages in the wound healing process. 

In normal circumstances, macrophages are vital for wounds to heal effectively. This is because macrophages are white blood cells which signal to the body that wound healing needs to take place. The macrophages remove dead cells from the wound and promote inflammation to take place, which is the body’s natural healing process. 

Macrophages also support the development of new cells and tissues so the wound can heal effectively. They then assist to resolve inflammation, so it does not become problematic. Taking all of this into account, it is clear to see just how important it is that macrophages are functioning properly in the human body. So why do they not function this way in EB? 

That is exactly what Prof Eming hopes to discover through observing the behaviour of cells from the wounds of patients with Recessive Dystrophic EB in the laboratory. With the knowledge the researchers gain, they hope to develop new methods to restore the function of macrophages in those who have EB. If this is achieved, it would mean improved wound healing, which gives us great hope for better treatment options for chronic wounds in the future. We look forward to seeing how this project continues to progress over the coming months. 


DEBRA Ireland would like to thank Alison Hyland for her fantastic contribution to this article. We really appreciate it.

We love to see those who have EB or their family members getting involved in research, as no one understands EB better than those who have experienced it.

If you would like to get involved in future blog posts or projects, please contact Sarah: [email protected]