Written by IEEE | October 27, 2017
Imagine if your bandage was able to dispense medicine that would heal your wounds faster. Engineers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard and MIT have been working on a smart bandage that can do just that.
The prototype for the smart bandage protects wounds like its analog inspiration, but is made of fibers that have an electrical heater with a layer of hydrogel that contains thermoresponsive drug carriers. It also contains a stamp-sized microcontroller to manage the release of medication. The microcontroller is programmed by an app or a timer, transmitting voltage through the bandage fibers. The energy from the voltage warms the fibers and activates the medication in the hydrogel, releasing them onto the skin.
The researchers are designing the bandage fibers to be able to accommodate and dispense different types of medication. This new, innovative concept has the potential to speed up healing faster than a standard bandage, making it an exciting option for the future of wound care.