Scientists from the University of Connecticut’s School of Dentistry, the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering have collaborated to design smart bandages for wireless control. It can be used in conjunction with a smartphone-sized platform that can deliver different drugs precisely to the wound in a separate dose. The bandage was developed by researchers at UConn, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Harvard Medical School.
Bandages with microneedles can be wirelessly controlled and deliver drugs, and health care providers can’t even be in the patient’s room. The team says bandages are an important step in engineering advanced bandages to facilitate the healing of difficult wounds. Another important aspect of a bandage is that it does not require continuous bandage replacement.
The researchers say bandages can deliver drugs with minimal intrusiveness. Micro needles can pierce the wound deeper and cause minimal pain and inflammation. The team said the method was more effective at closing wounds and regrowing hair than local administration.
The test sits first on the use of the device in cells, followed by testing of diabetic mice with full-layer skin damage. The mice in the study showed complete healing and no scar formation. The team says bandages can significantly improve the speed and quality of wound healing in diabetic animals.
The researchers believe the new bandages could replace existing care systems and reduce the incidence of chronic wounds, and could even change the way diabetic wounds are treated. Improper treatment of diabetic wounds can lead to the need for amputation and a decline in quality of life.