Most bandages have a problem – because they stick to the wound as it heals, which may cause the wound to crack again after removal. However, the new wound dressing will not stick to the wound, but it does help to stop the bleeding. Scientists at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, and the National University of Singapore are developing ultra-hydrophobic (liquid-proof) coatings for medical devices, such as catheters, that prevent blood or other fluids from sticking to them. Surprisingly, a substance they developed has also been shown to help blood clot.
The coating in question consists of silicone and carbon nanofibers, which are applied to conventional cotton gauze to make a bandage material. The substance rejects blood, but only after a few minutes of exposure causes blood clotting. Although scientists suspect that carbon nanofibers are involved, the condensation mechanism is not fully understood. In addition, the material has antibacterial properties because bacteria are difficult to adhere to on their surfaces.
While some prototype bandages have been successfully tested in rats, the researchers say the technology needs to be further developed before it can be tested in humans. The researchers believe this could eventually have a big impact on health care.
“With this new type of ultra-hydrophobic material, we can avoid causing the wound to crack again when changing the bandage,” said Athanasios Milionis, a postdoctoral researcher at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Recracking of wounds is a major problem, mainly because of the risk of infection, including infections from dangerous hospital bacteria – especially when changing bandages. “
The paper on the study, led by Professor Dimos Poulikakos of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.