Scientists develop smart bandage for faster healing

Scientists have developed a smart bandage that can precisely control the dose and delivery schedule of the medication tailored for a specific type of wound, leading to faster healing. The bandage, developed by researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, consists of electrically conductive fibres coated in a gel.

The gel can be individually loaded with infection- fighting antibiotics, tissue-regenerating growth factors, painkillers or other medications. A microcontroller no larger than a postage stamp, which could be triggered by a smartphone or other wireless device, sends small amounts of voltage through a chosen fibre. That is 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.

While offering the ability to precisely control the dose and delivery schedule of those medications. That combination of customisation and control could substantially improve or accelerate the healing process. This is the first bandage that is capable of dose- dependent drug release. You can release multiple drugs with different release profiles. Another experiment showed that an antibiotic-loaded version of the bandage could eradicate infection-causing bacteria.

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