For people like military doctors, carrying bandages of all shapes and sizes that may be required can be difficult. However, thanks to recent research, they may one day be able to simply spray the drug-wrapped fiber dressing directly onto the wound.
The dressing spray process will involve the use of portable electrostatic spinning devices – scientists at the University of Montana have created a prototype version of the gadget. In short, electrostatic spinning uses electricity to pull the charged filaments of a polymer solution into slender fibers. However, due to the need for high voltages, there is usually a risk of electric shock by rotating the material directly to a living biological tissue. This is where portable systems come in.
The electric field it uses to rotate the fibers is contained in the device, where it does not come into contact with the patient. Instead, use an air jet to spray these fibers out of the nozzle and onto the skin, where they form a protective pad on the wound. In addition, a variety of biocompatible polymers can be used to mix them in the device with controlled release drugs that promote the healing process.
So far, the prototype has been successfully used to treat incisions on pig skin and to deposit dressingon on the hands of gloved people. The researchers hope that once further developed, the technology could be used in remote areas that lack complete medical facilities, such as rural areas or battlefields.
A paper on the study was recently published in the journal Of Vacuum Science and Technology B.