Scientists have created a smart ‘medical bandage’ that uses electrical currents to heal wounds 25 percent faster than traditional methods by stimulating tissues to speed up healing.
The smart bandage consists of wireless circuits that use a flow of electrical currents and temperature sensors to monitor wound healing progress.
The high-tech device closes wounds faster, increases new blood flow to injured tissues, and promotes skin recovery by significantly reducing scar formation, according to the researchers.
The high-tech wireless bandage is the work of researchers at Stanford University and appears in a paper published Nov. 24 in Nature Biotechnology.
Scientists have developed a smart bandage that can help speed up wound healing by monitoring the injury and treating it at the same time.
The smart bandage consists of wireless circuitry (above) that uses a flow of electrical currents and temperature sensors to monitor wound healing progress
When a person’s wound has not yet healed or the dressing detects infection – the sensors can apply more electrical stimulation across the wound area to help speed tissue recovery and reduce infection.
The biosensors in the smart bandage can track biophysical changes in the local environment and provide an immediate, rapid and highly accurate way to measure wound condition.
The researchers were able to track the sensor data in real time on a smartphone without the need for wires.
“In mice, we have shown that our wound care system can continuously monitor skin resistance and temperature and deliver electrical stimulation in response to the wound environment,” the researchers abstract study explains.
In preclinical wound models with rats, the treatment group healed about 25% faster compared to the control group.
“While closing a wound, the smart bandage protects while it heals,” Yuanwen Jiang, co-first author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford School of Engineering, said in a statement.
But it is not a passive tool. It is an effective healing device that can change the standard of care in the treatment of chronic wounds.
The biosensors in the smart bandage can track biophysical changes in the local environment and provide an immediate, rapid, and highly accurate way to measure wound condition.
The scientists also cautioned that the smart bandage is currently a proof of concept, and there are some challenges
The scientists wanted to determine why and how electrical stimulation promotes wound healing.
They now believe that electrical stimulation promotes the activation of pro-regenerative genes such as Selenop, an anti-inflammatory gene that has been found to help remove pathogens and repair wounds, as well as Apoe, which has been shown to increase muscle and plasticity. tissue growth.
In addition, the electrical stimulation increased the number of white blood cells, especially monocytes and macrophages, which could also play a role in certain stages of wound healing.
“With stimulation and sensing in one device, the smart bandage speeds up healing, but it also tracks as the wound improves,” Artem Trusiuk, also study co-senior author and chief of surgery and current professor in the biomedical engineering department at the University of Arizona in Tucson, explained.
The scientists also cautioned that the smart bandage is currently a proof of concept, and there are some challenges.
These obstacles include increasing device size to human scale, reducing cost, and solving long-term data storage problems.
All of these matters need to be addressed before mass production can be scaled up.
They also indicated other potential sensors that could be added to the device, including those that measure metabolites and other biomarkers.
One potential barrier to clinical use is “hydrogel rejection,” where a person’s skin may interact with the device and create a poor gel-to-skin mixture.
The researchers also noted other potential sensors that could be added to the device, including those that measure metabolites and other biomarkers.