NATO Science presents: Rapid skin wound healing
Questions and Answers with scientist Vanja Mišković
- What was your role in the rapid skin wound healing (RAWINTS) project?
As a young scientist, I started my PhD thesis working on the RAWINTS project, where I was responsible for the sensing layer composed of a hydrogel matrix and liquid crystals for real-time monitoring of wound temperature.
- What was it like to work on a project with very experienced researchers and teams based in different countries?
RAWINTS was my first international project, and I had the opportunity to meet and work with great researchers coming from Belgium, Japan, Italy and Spain. I would primarily refer to my experience with Professor Cusella and her team at the University of Pavia. During the project, we established close collaboration, and by visiting their laboratory, I was able to understand better the medical aspect of the wound healing process.
- You went on a zero-gravity test flight with the European Space Agency! What was it like? How was it useful for the project?
This flight was my second participation in the parabolic flight campaign, and it was as exciting as the first one. It is almost impossible to describe the feeling of experiencing zero gravity. From the scientific point of view, preparing an experiment for a zero-gravity test is probably the most complex but rewarding experience.
RAWINTS started from the NATO SPS Programme, but we understood that the results of RAWINTS were beneficial in supporting the human exploration programme in space by considering the crucial importance of astronauts' health in this extreme environment.
- What is the most challenging part of your job as a researcher?
I'm working as an experimentalist, and as everybody knows, experiments can always go wrong up to the last minute. I would say that learning how to deal with these problems patiently is probably the most challenging part, together with handling and understanding the big data.
- What advice would you give to young people who want to develop innovative technologies like RAWINTS?
Besides to be patient and work hard, I would advise them to look at NATO SPS projects as an opportunity to gain experience and build networks and connections.
- How do your research and the RAWINTS project contribute to the goals of NATO?
NATO's SPS Programme is meant to support not only military personnel but also the civilian population affected by the consequences of conflicts. RAWINTS is a clear example of an application that can make the wounded soldier in the field safer while also allowing better healthcare of civilians in conflicts and remote areas.
- Based on your experience, would you work on another scientific project supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme? What would you like to research next?
Yes, definitely. I want to use the knowledge that I acquired in RAWINTS and focus more on the implementation of machine learning, which is a crucial technology for better healthcare in a remote context, such as in developing countries.
Learn more about other innovative science projects on the NATO Science main page.