Researchers develop ‘smart’ wirelessly-controlled bandage that could be helpful for diabetic patients

By Shubham Sharma | Published on 17 Feb 2020
Researchers develop ‘smart’ wirelessly-controlled bandage that could be helpful for diabetic patients

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HIGHLIGHTS

New wireless bandage with 3D‐printed miniaturized needle arrays developed.

Medicine dosage on the bandage can be controlled remotely and it is apparently less invasive as well.

The new bandage could heal diabetic patients’ wounds faster.

Small bruises and cuts are mostly nothing to worry about as they heal over time. However, diabetic patients need to take the utmost care when they have a wound that needs to be treated as it can be chronic and non-healing. A new ‘smart’ bandage has been developed specifically for diabetic patients by the faculty of the biomedical engineering department at the University of Connecticut or UConn. It is a wirelessly-controlled ‘smart’ bandage with 3D‐printed miniaturized needle arrays. Delivering precise medications to a wound is said to be possible with the new bandage that can be remotely programmed by healthcare providers. The bandage can be controlled via a “corresponding smartphone-sized platform.”

“This is an important step in engineering advanced bandages that can facilitate the healing of hard to treat wounds. The bandage does not need to be changed continuously,” says Dr Ali Tamayol, associate professor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Harvard Medical School. This means that once applied, the bandage would work for a long time, enabling the wound to be healed better over time. 

The needles used on the bandage are said to be minimally invasive and can help in delivering different medications required at various stages of tissue regeneration. This method is also proven to be more effective for closing wounds as compared to topical drug administration. This new bandage was first tried with diabetic mice with skin injury and the researchers found that the mice completely healed without any scar formation. 

A patent has been filed for the advanced bandage and hopefully, the device would soon be made available in the market. The research for the device was also recently published in the Advanced Functional Materials journal. 

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Shubham Sharma

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