According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people with diabetes has increased over the past two decades, and by 2021, 537 million people suffered from diabetes[1], which is an important worldwide issue. Diabetes can cause many complications, and a diabetic foot ulcer is one of the most common complications. Due to the patient's hyperglycemia symptoms, minor wounds on the feet are very likely to lead to a diabetic foot ulcer and even amputation in severe cases[2]

We wanted to make minor wounds heal before they deteriorate. Our project aimed to design a novel, modified dressing with the functional PQQ for people with diabetes, so we needed to know more about people’s demands. Therefore, we had to extend our influence and collaborate with the community. Throughout this journey, we talked to the public, experts, and patients via interviews or questionnaires. In the above activities the values of iGEM were applied in which included integrity, good sportsmanship, respect, honesty, celebration, cooperation, effort, and excellence. As we continued to revise the project to meet the needs of the community, we were developing approaches that were more beneficial to society.

Doctor Interview

In order to bring our plan closer to the real situation, we interviewed a doctor from the Department of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Chen Changhua, to learn more about diabetic wounds. He explained the current treatment methods and shared his diagnosis experience with us. This was useful information for us, for example, some people with diabetes lose feeling in their feet due to diabetic neuropathy; and the concentrations of antibiotics and oral medicines will be diluted by blood circulation, so the current treatments still has a long way to go. In other words, applying our dressing directly on wounds would be a more efficient way. Through this interview, we gained a better understanding of diabetic wounds from a doctor's point of view and also had more confidence in our project.

2022 iGEM Meetup Conference

When the project research reached a certain level, we participated in the 2022 iGEM Meetup Conference which was held by NCKU_Tainan. The purpose of this event was to mimic the situation of the jamboree. From the speeches of other teams, we gained more understanding of other topics and found the defects of our project through the Q&A and poster session. After receiving valuable suggestions from the judges and other teams, we not only improved the shortcomings, but even had better ideas for some parts of the project.

Science Knowledge Sharing in Farmers Market at NCHU

NCHU holds a Farmers Market every Saturday from 8:00 to 12:00, where many people come to buy organic vegetables and fruits. Consequently, this is a perfect place to share our project with the public. We introduced the problems caused by diabetic wounds and our solutions to them, and the majority of the public understood our purpose and supported us to continue. We could be glad to say that people’s support and trust were our motivations.

A Survey in Farmers Market at NCHU

Apart from sharing science knowledge, we also conducted a survey for the public in Farmers Market at NCHU. Through the results, we got some personal experience from people with diabetes and what the public really thought about wound healing, which was very important to our project. In other words, the opinions from the public were inspiring our dressing design, and it made us deliberate how our plans should be implemented in the real world. The following is the information we got from the survey:

  • People with diabetes did find their wounds healing more slowly.
  • Hydrocolloid dressings were mostly used.
  • Stickiness and price were the vital factors they chose the wound dressings.

After this journey, we have generally recognized that the combination of perspectives from the medical profession, business circle, academia, and the public can solve the problems we encountered in our research. We were very happy that our project could be recognized by the community, and these suggestions from the community couldn't be obtained in the laboratory, so they were really precious for us. Absolutely, our project will help them solve practical problems.


  1. IDF DIABETES ATLAS. (2021). (10th ed.). International Diabetes Federation.
  2. Reardon, R., Simring, D., Kim, B., Mortensen, J., Williams, D., & Leslie, A. (2020). The diabetic foot ulcer. Australian journal of general practice, 49(5), 250–255.