BOSTON: Scientists have developed a wirelessly-controlled bandage , and a smartphone-sized platform that can precisely deliver different medications to facilitate the healing of hard to treat wounds.
The bandage is equipped with miniature needles that can be controlled wirelessly — allowing the drugs to be programmed by care providers without even visiting the patient, according to the research published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials .
"This is an important step in engineering advanced bandages that can facilitate the healing of hard to treat wounds.The bandage does not need to be changed continuously," said Ali Tamayol, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut in the US.
Given the range of processes necessary for wound healing, different medications are needed at different stages of tissue regeneration.
The bandage can deliver medicine with minimal invasiveness, said researchers, including those from the Harvard Medical School in the US.
With the platform, the provider can wirelessly control the release of multiple drugs delivered through the miniature needles, according to the researchers.
These needles are able to penetrate into deeper layers of the wound bed with minimal pain and inflammation, they said.
This method proved to be more effective for wound closure and hair growth as compared to the topical administration of drugs, and is also minimally invasive.
The research was first conducted on cells and later on diabetic mice with full thickness skin injury.
With this technology, the mice showed signs of complete healing and lack of scar formation — demonstrating the bandages' ability to significantly improve the rate and quality of wound healing in diabetic animals, researchers said.
These findings can potentially replace existing wound care systems and significantly reduce the morbidity of chronic wounds — which will change the way diabetic wounds are treated.