Researchers at Stanford University have combined wireless electrical stimulation and biosensors to create a new type of bandage that could treat slow-healing injuries.
The medical device designed at Stanford University has shown promise in accelerating tissue repair by monitoring the wound healing process and simultaneously treating the wound.
The smart bandage is comprised of wireless circuitry that uses temperature sensors to monitor the progression of wound healing. If the wound heals less or infection is detected, sensors inform a central processing unit to apply more electrical stimulation to the wound bed to speed tissue closure and reduce infection.
The researchers were able to track the sensor data in real time on a smartphone, all without the need for cables.
in a paper published in the magazine natural biotechnology, The team said their device promotes faster wound closure, increases the flow of new blood to injured tissue, and improves skin recovery by significantly reducing scar formation.
The device could therefore be of great use to people who suffer from iInfections, diseases such as diabetes, and weakened immune systems, which often lead to slow wound healing processes and costs as much as 25 billion dollars a year.
“By sealing the wound, the smart bandage protects while it heals,” he said. yuanwenjiang, co-first author of the study. “But it is not a passive tool. It’s a active healing device that could transform the standard of care in the treatment of chronic wounds”.
The bandage has a small layer of electronics, including a microcontroller unit (MCU), radio antenna, memory, electrical stimulator, biosensors, and other components, only 100 microns thick, about the thickness of a single layer of paint. latex.
All of that circuitry is mounted on a cleverly designed hydrogel that is embedded to deliver healing electrical stimulation to injured tissue and collect biosensor data in real time. The polymer in the hydrogel is carefully designed to adhere securely to the wound surface when needed, but to remove cleanly and smoothly when heated to just a few degrees above body temperature.
Through electrical stimulation, also known as galvanotaxis, scientists have been able to accelerate the migration of keratinocytes to the wound site, limiting bacterial infections and preventing the development of biofilms on wound surfaces, to proactively promote healing. tissue growth.
As the wound heals, the smart dressing detects changes in conductivity and temperature in the skin.
“With pacing and sensing in a single device, the smart bandage speeds healing, but also follows up as the wound improves,” he said. Artem Trotsyuk, co-first author of the study. “We believe it represents a new modality that will enable new biological discovery and exploration of hypotheses about the human healing process that were previously difficult to test.”
Currently, the smart bandage is just a proof of concept. In their next steps, the team will look to increase the size of the device to human scale, reduce costs, and solve long-term data storage issues, all necessary to scale to mass production.
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