Ali Razavi envisions a new substance that could be a “game changer” in treating skin wounds for diabetics, burn victims and others. The professor of mechanical engineering, who has a specific background in materials engineering and chemistry, has been researching the anti-bacterial properties of silver for the past three years with Owen Faut, professor emeritus of chemistry, Ken Pidcock, professor of biology, and their chemistry and microbiology students. They discovered a silver compound that mimics how the body’s immune system fights infection and produces oxygen to kill harmful bacteria. The compound could revolutionize wound care and healing.
The research team has received a patent for their work – the first of two patents Wilkes has filed on behalf of its faculty. Razavi states that the final product will be effective against viruses, fungi and bacteria. This includes bacteria that are beginning to show resistance to the anti-bacterial properties of silver, a metal that is poisonous at certain thresholds. The compound has proven to be safe and effective in animal testing and can close wounds faster and with better outcomes.