A team of engineers led by Tufts University has developed a prototype bandage designed to actively monitor the condition of chronic wounds and deliver appropriate drug treatments to improve the chances of healing. Smart bandages are aimed at transforming bandaging from a traditionally passive treatment into a more active paradigm to address a persistent and difficult medical challenge.
More Insights into the Smart Bandages Development
The smart bandages still haven’t been tested in laboratories, and tests are expected to commence soon. Chronic skin wounds that arise from burns, allergies, diabetes, and other medical conditions can overpower the regenerative capabilities of skin, and cause persistent infections to occur; serious cases may also lead to amputations. Thus, with an aim to avoid such complications, the team of researchers sought out to create a substance that can assist the natural healing processes, consequently giving rise to the smart bandages. The bandages are fitted with heating elements and thermoresponsive drug carriers that can deliver tailored treatments in response to embedded pH and temperature sensors that track infection and inflammation.
According to co-author of the study, Sameer Sonkusale, who also is a Ph.D. professor of electrical and computer engineering at Tufts University’s School of Engineering, development of the smart bandages is a profound and revolutionary breakthrough approach in the field of medicine. Non-healing chronic wounds are a significant medical problem, and every year, thousands of people might be affected by this condition. These wounds are typically treated in an outpatient setting or even at home. However, the smart bandages are expected to ensure that such treatments will not be required in future, wherein real time monitoring and delivery of treatment with limited intervention from the patient or caregivers could be implemented. pH factor of a chronic wound is expected to be one of the key parameters used for the monitoring the healing progress.