Tech And Science

New ‘smart’ bandages to aid in the healing of diabetic wounds

Smart Bandages Diabetic wound healing
Source: Unsplash

Researchers in the United States have created a revolutionary smart bandage containing biosensors that can aid in the healing of chronic wounds such as diabetic ulcers and burns.

When someone receives a cut, scrape, burn, or other wound, the body usually takes care of itself and recovers on its own.

Nevertheless, diabetes can impede the healing process and result in wounds that do not heal and may get infected and persist.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) created a smart bandage that may make treating these wounds easier, more effective, and less expensive.

“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,” Wei Gao, Assistant Professor of medical engineering, at Caltech said.

“There is a demand for technology that can facilitate recovery,” Gao said.

Unlike traditional bandages, which are constructed of layers of absorbent material, smart bandages are made of a flexible and elastic polymer that contains integrated circuitry and medicine.

The electronics enable the sensor to detect chemicals such as uric acid or lactate, as well as variables such as pH or temperature in the wound that may indicate inflammation or bacterial infection.

The bandage may wirelessly communicate wound data to a nearby computer, tablet, or smartphone for inspection by the patient or a medical expert.

To treat inflammation and infection, it can administer an antibiotic or other drug contained within the bandage straight to the wound site.

According to the researchers’ work published in the journal Science Advances, it may also deliver a low-level electrical field to the wound to encourage tissue development, resulting in speedier healing.

The bandage was evaluated in animal models in a laboratory setting. The smart bandages demonstrated the potential to provide researchers with real-time information on wound conditions and the metabolic states of the animals, as well as to expedite healing of chronic infected wounds comparable to those observed in humans.

According to Gao, the results are encouraging, and future study will focus on enhancing the bandage technology and testing it on real patients.