DEC 19, 2018 11:39 PM PST

E-Bandages for Wound Healing

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Clinicians have always sought ways to help patients with chronic skin wounds to heal. In normal circumstances, our skin can heal itself. However, in some cases, it can not--leaving the affected skin prone to chronic pain, infection, and scarring. These wounds can include diabetic foot ulcers, venous ulcers, and non-healing surgical wounds. Some approaches considered involve bandaging, exposure to oxygen, and growth-factor therapy—but all these methods hold limitations in their effectiveness.

Learn more about how the skin is capable of healing itself:

Now, a study published in ACS Nano describes astonishing technology involving a self-powered bandage that can reduce healing time in rats through the generation of an electric field over the injury. Interestingly, the use of electrical stimulation in the process of wound healing has long been studied since the early 1960s. However, these observations were restricted as equipment for electric generation is often large and can require patients to be hospitalized.

Therefore, researchers wanted to develop a simpler electrical method requiring little to no use of equipment and obviously no patient hospitalization—they came up with the development of a flexible, self-powered bandage capable of converting skin movements into a therapeutic electric field otherwise known as the E-bandage.

The E-bandage was tested on rats and results showed that wounds healed in 3 days in comparison to just 12 days with a regular bandage involving no electrical field. The findings strongly hypothesize that the generation of an electrical field is highly attributable to the enhancement of fibroblast migration, proliferation and differentiation.

A wound covered by an electric bandage on a rat’s skin (top left) healed faster than a wound under a control bandage (right).

Credit: American Chemical Society

Powering the e-bandage involved a wearable nanogenerator by the overlapping sheets of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), copper foil, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The nanogenerator would then covert the skin movements, occurring during normal activity such as breathing, into small electrical pulses. The current flowing from these pulses would arrive to two working electrodes placed on either side of the wounded skin producing a weak electric field.

Source: American Chemical Society

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
AUG 11, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Supervillain Alert! New Tech IDs Drug-Resistant Superbugs.
AUG 11, 2020
Supervillain Alert! New Tech IDs Drug-Resistant Superbugs.
The human body is made up of around 10 trillion cells. Fascinatingly, we have 10 times more bacterial cells on our bodie ...
SEP 14, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Cell Line Authentication Using STR Analysis
SEP 14, 2020
Cell Line Authentication Using STR Analysis
Imagine you’re studying colon cancer using a colon cell line model. After three painstaking years of research, you ...
SEP 15, 2020
Neuroscience
Smartphone Data Can Predict Depression and Anxiety
SEP 15, 2020
Smartphone Data Can Predict Depression and Anxiety
Researchers from Dartmouth College have found that passively-collected data from smartphones is able to predict a person ...
SEP 02, 2020
Technology
Electronic Media Use Linked to Lower Academic Performance
SEP 02, 2020
Electronic Media Use Linked to Lower Academic Performance
A recent study revealed that heavy electronic media use is linked to lower academic performance in children 8- to 11-yea ...
SEP 17, 2020
Technology
Advancing Memory in AI Neural Networks
SEP 17, 2020
Advancing Memory in AI Neural Networks
Improving The Memory of Neural Networks via Artificial intelligence (AI) Using the human brain as inspiration, researche ...
OCT 17, 2020
Technology
Improving Internet Connectivity in Developing Nations
OCT 17, 2020
Improving Internet Connectivity in Developing Nations
Secure and reliable internet connectivity is the oxygen of modern day global research. In developing nations, there pers ...
Loading Comments...