A ‘smart bandage’ that can help heal chronic wounds faster and provide real-time updates about its conditions has been developed at California Institute of Technology, US, promising better care to diabetics, as the lifestyle disease can interfere with the healing process and create wounds that will not go away and could become infected and fester.
Made from a flexible polymer containing embedded electronics and medication, the badge can transmit data wirelessly to a nearby computer, tablet or smartphone. It can also deliver medication stored within bandage directly to wound site, and apply a low-level electrical field to the wound to stimulate tissue growth resulting in faster healing.
“There are many different types of chronic wounds, especially in diabetic ulcers and burns that last a long time and cause huge issues for the patient,” said Wei Gao, in whose lab the badge was developed. The Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering, Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, and Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar added, “There is a demand for technology that can facilitate recovery.”
The paper describing the research – done on animal models under laboratory conditions – appeared in the March 24 issue of the journal Science Advances.