New Electronic Smart Bandage Could Heal Chronic Wounds Faster

Electronic Smart BandageA team of researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Harvard Medical School in Boston, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, has designed a “smart” bandage that is much more effective and faster-acting than regular healing patches. In fact, this electronic bandage is beneficial to many different areas of biomedical engineering and medicine. This is the first device that is capable of dose-dependent drug release. With this bandage, multiple drugs can be released, which have different release profiles. This is the biggest advantage of this device when compared to other systems. The idea for the new device stemmed from the necessity to find more efficient, expedient, and cost-effective treatments to address chronic wounds such as venous ulcers, diabetic ulcers, and pressure ulcers.

Typically, chronic wounds fail to achieve sufficient healing even after 4 weeks of standard care, as the body does not release the compounds which are necessary to healing in due time. However, the new device may change this. The smart bandage allows medical professionals to administer different drugs at different stages in the progression of the wound using one single device, this helps in dealing with chronic wounds. In fact, the majority of components of the bandage are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

How the Smart Bandage Works

The smart healing patch is just the size of a postage stamp, and comprised of electrically conductive fibers, and can be controlled remotely with a smartphone or another wireless or Bluetooth device. These fibers are coated with a water-based gel that can be loaded with various drugs. Antibiotics and painkillers could be alternatively administered using the same electronic bandage, while remotely controlling the substance and the dosage. In fact, tissue regeneration is a key step in the healing process. During one of the experiments, the researchers applied the e-bandage loaded with a tissue-growth factor to wounded mice and a normal “dry” bandage to a control group of mice. The result was that the smart bandage helped the mice to grow three times more tissue than that of the control group. In another experiment, the team loaded the bandage with an antibiotic and the smart healing patch successfully fought against the infection.

Wound Care Documentation As Important As Wound Care Products

Before choosing the right bandage for wound care, it is critical to assess the wound and document it accurately in order to ensure quality care. Nowadays, many healthcare settings use reliable wound management software to document the wound details. This helps improve care and efficiency in wound treatment.