Researchers at the Tufts University are developing a smart bandage will be able to actively observe the condition of a chronic wound and deliver drugs accordingly to expedite the healing process. The new prototype bandage that the researchers are working on features integrated temperature and pH sensors that can electronically trigger the release of drugs when the band senses that the wounds are not undergoing proper healing.
According to the researchers behind the prototype, one of the key goals during the creation of the Smart Bandage prototype was to keep it flexible. Despite the challenges that the process of integrating sensors can bring to maintaining aspects such as biocompatibility and flexibility in products such as bandages, the researchers have been able to formulate a fabrication procedure that makes sure that the final product is flexible and conformal to all kinds of wounds.
Chronic skin wounds caused due to diabetes, burns, and a variety of other medical conditions can severely damage the regenerative abilities of the skin and can lead to persistent amputations and infections. The new bandage can boost the natural process of healing with the help of thermoresponsive drug carriers and thermal elements, delivering specific treatments to the wound site in response to the data collected regarding inflammation and infection.
The researchers have recognized temperature as being a critical factor dictating the healing process as it determines the level of inflammation inside and surrounding the wound. Inflammation in and around a wound can also be monitored with the help of specific biomarkers as well. The research team has also fabricated flexible sensors especially focused on oxygenated that can be embedded in the smart bandage. The new bandage prototype is used in combination with a microprocessor that processes data from the sensor and delivers the specific drug on the basis of demand by heating a gel.