Smart Bandage

dreamstime s 27715534 560

A New Medical Development that Changes the Way We Heal

A team effort by researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard Medical School, and MIT culminated in a revolutionary new breakthrough that could result in faster healing of chronic wounds.

The researchers developed a bandage which consists of electrically conductive fibers. Each bandage’s fibers are coated in a gel that is loaded with infection-fighting antibiotics, tissue-regenerating growth factors, painkillers, and any other medications that are needed for the patient’s specific injuries.

A microcontroller sends small amounts of voltage through a chosen fiber, heating the fiber and its hydrogel and releasing the medications contained within. Further research has shown that the heat required to make this work has no effect on the medication’s potency. Each bandage has the potential to contain a variety of medications, and wireless device capabilities allow for remote monitoring and control so the doses are administered on schedule. Through customization and remote monitoring tailored to the patient’s needs, the healing process is sped up without requiring consistent removal and reapplication.

 

1 smartbandage 560
A prototype of the team’s design. Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Ali Tamayol, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, stated, “This is the first bandage that is capable of dose-dependent drug release. You can release multiple drugs with different release profiles. That’s a big advantage in comparison with other systems. What we did here was come up with a strategy for building a bandage from the bottom up. This is a platform that can be applied to many different areas of biomedical engineering and medicine.”

A variety of uses for the smart bandages include chronic skin wounds that stem from diabetes, combat wounds, and other severe injuries that require a significant amount of care. Typically, injuries of this magnitude would require treatment with astronomical costs that many people simply cannot afford, so researchers are interested in finding solutions that benefit the patient without draining them and their bank accounts.

Currently, bandages range from dry patches to advanced designs capable of medication release over a period of time. Tamayol and his colleagues at Harvard ran a series of tests designed to evaluate the potential advantages of their smart bandage. One such experiment involved applying a smart bandage loaded with growth factor to wounded mice, resulting in tissue regrowth three times that of a dry bandage.

The researchers have since patented their design, though it requires further testing before it is ready to hit the market. However, many of the bandage’s components are already approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which should speed up the process to some extent. As research continues, the team will work to incorporate sensors that measure glucose, pH, etc. in an effort to create a bandage that could autonomously administer proper treatments.

Source:

https://phys.org/news/2017-10-smart-bandage-faster.html

 

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Eleventh hour intervention by Marchionne secured Fiat Chrysler deal
  • Ontario on track to lead country in employment, economic growth
  • Worker mobility key to construction's labour shortage
  • Mississauga aerospace firm announces major contracts with Boeing, F-35 program
  • Toyota investment in Ontario brings new technologies, keeps jobs
  • Oil exploration gives St. John's NL fastest growing economy
  • GM/Honda latest partners in search for affordable fuel cell car
  • Renewables poised for big growth in short term: IEA
  • Researcher designs valve that could help power deep space flight
  • Magna producing first all-olefin liftgate assembly for Nissan Rogue
  • Fully solar powered vehicle: an RV that runs without fuel or charging stations?
  • Netherlands company to test plastic road construction
  • US, Canada announce new safety regulation for railway tanker cars
  • REE and American Axle & Manufacturing to co-develop new electric propulsion system for e-Mobility
  • Real-time oil leak tracking with PAH sensor from Norwegian Geotechnical Institute can precisely measure hydrocarbons in water around oil wells
  • Crude Oil Prices Uncertain as OPEC Meets to Discuss Supply
  • Danger Doc Robinson: researchers at RMIT University find vehicle vibrations may induce sleep in drivers
  • British cheer awarding of train contract to Bombardier
  • Five Seasons Ventures Invests in European Food and AgriTech
  • NASA Plans to Send Robotic Helicopter to Mars in 2020
Scroll to Top