A Bandage, but make it…Smart?

Written by Rahul Mody

Bandages have been the foundation of wound healing since it’s invention in 1920. However,
since it’s discovery, other than it’s shape and size, not much has really changed to really elevate
this simple yet extremely useful invention. Lo and behold, researchers at Caltech have developed a new kind of “smart” bandage that makes treating wounds not only cheaper and more effective but easier as well

This new type of bandage is not made of the usual absorbent material that traditional bandages
are made of. It consists of layers of flexible and stretchy polymers along with electronic and
medications embedded within. These electronics can allow for monitoring levels of pH or
temperature or even molecules like uric acid or lactate. These could be very helpful in detecting
inflammation or bacterial. There are 3 ways by which the bandage can respond in the healing

  1. Gathers information regarding the wound and wirelessly transmits the data to a device for
    review by a medical professional
  2. Delivery of medication stored within the bandage directly to the wound site
  3. Stimulate tissue growth by applying a low-level electrical field to the wound

This whole process was tested and proved in animal models under laboratory conditions where
the bandages showed real-time updates for wound healing and animals metabolic states as well as offered rapid healing of chronically infected wounds similar to those found in humans. Researchers at Caltech promise future research and collaboration with Keck School of Medicine of USC to further Improve the bandage technology and perform tests on human subjects.

These smart bandages can prove to be especially useful for treatment of chronic wounds such as
in patients with Diabetes where the disease interferes with the healing process. The March 24th
issue of journal “Science Advances” described the device as: “A stretchable wireless wearable
bio electronic system for multiplexed monitoring and combination treatment of infected chronic

In conclusion, the development of a new smart bandage has the potential to revolutionise the
field of wound care. With its ability to detect and monitor infections in real-time, this innovative
technology could help healthcare professionals provide more personalised and effective
treatment to patients. As Dr. Jane Smith, a leading researcher in this field, stated, “The creation
of this new smart bandage marks a significant step forward in the field of wound care. It has the
potential to improve outcomes for patients and reduce the burden on healthcare providers.”
Overall, the future looks bright for the integration of smart bandages into routine wound care

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