Drugs Medical

Smart bandage that monitors wounds and accelerates healing


HQ Team

November 25, 2022:Chronic non-healing wounds are major healthcare challenges that affect a significant number of people. Some co-morbidities and compromised immune systems also result in minor injuries taking much longer to heal. In recent times, various products and devices have been developed to hasten the wound healing process, which include sensors and targeted drug delivery to the site.

Recently, researchers at Stanford University have designed a smart bandage that can monitor a wound’s healing in real-time, as well as accelerate tissue growth and blood flow around the injury site, and helps in reducing scar severity.

The bandage material is only 100 microns thick (equivalent to a single layer of latex paint), but contains a radio antenna, electrical stimulator, biosensors, and other components, all embedded in a skin-like polymer known as a hydrogel.

The affixed smart bandage monitors temperature and other biometric readings and then transmit that data to a smartphone program. The bandage is capable of even adjusting if the healing progress is slow or an infection sets in. The device emits small electrical stimulations across the site to boost tissue growth and reduce inflammation.

“In sealing the wound, the smart bandage protects it as it heals,” the research paper’s first co-author, Yuanwen Jiang, explained in a release. “But it is not a passive tool. It is an active healing device that could transform the standard of care in the treatment of chronic wounds.”

Electrical stimulation, also known as galvanotaxis, can accelerate the wound healing process. It is believed that the smart bandage could help learn more about this process.

There are concerns about allergy and irritation to hydrogel materials. The smart bandage is at the proof-of-concept stage. Much more needs to be done regarding its data storage and how to make it a viable commercial product. Still, initial testing shows an extremely promising device to solve a significant problem for countless injured people.

Wound healing technologies and products have a vast market worth more than $15 billion. Scar prevention market accounts for another  $12 billion. The wound environment is rich in cytokines and proteins that play roles in wound physiology. Any sensors on a healing device that measures the concentration of the biomarkers, such as antigens and bacteria in the wound bed would be extremely valuable.

The ideal wound care technology, according to the medical fraternity should

  • create a moist, clean, and warm environment,
  • protect the wound bed from mechanical trauma and bacterial infiltrations
  • promote thermal insulation
  • be non-toxic and non-allergenic, and
  • deliver therapeutic compounds essential for healing

The smart bandage findings are published in Nature Biotechnology

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *