Published on : Oct 06, 2017
The healing of chronic skin wound is fraught with several challenges, key of which are the lack of timely release of biological materials and the absence of medications in required dose. For long, scientists have been trying to control therapeutic factors essential for healing by developing advanced dressing, but with limited success. For the first time, it has been possible to develop a mechanism that can offer dosage-controlled drug delivery in an orderly fashion to promote wound healing.
A team of researchers from different universities based in the U.S. including Nebraska, UNL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, have designed a wearable dressing to help in chronic wound healing by time-controlled release of biomolecules and drugs with the help of smart conducting fibers. Furthermore, the smart bandage can be used to release precise amount of antibiotics on-demand to root out any infections caused by pathogens. The microcontrollers
Medication Release Can be controlled by Smartphone
The micro-controllers present in the bandage can be triggered by a smartphone or any wireless device to enable dose-controlled drug release in a temporal manner. According to one of the researchers, the smart bandage will prove potentially beneficial for soldiers on the battlefield. One of the preliminary applications will be to heal chronic skin wounds stemming from diabetes by releasing growth factors.
The findings of the study and the design are detailed in a paper published on September, 2017 in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
Versatility and Customizability Unique Advantages to Promote Wound Healing
The wearable bandage is fabricated using composite and conducting fibers layered with hydrogel that can be loaded with medications. These fibers and the hydrogel can be electrically stimulated with a small voltage to release the required dosage of materials such as drugs and tissue-regenerating growth factors to patients. Controlling the dose and delivery schedule wireless results in customization of the dressing. To add to this, the unique ability to load multiple medications specific to a wound not possible in the current smart bandages is likely to accelerate the healing process.
The researchers essentially conducted a series of experiments with mice to arrive at these findings. The smart bandage is in the development phases. As of now, the researchers have patented their design. It may take years before it is marketed after further studies are conducted on humans and animals