A team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology has developed a “smart” bandage that can monitor the healing process, deliver antibiotics, and stimulate tissue growth with electrical signals, according to the New York Post.
The bandage is made of a biocompatible, mechanically flexible, stretchable material that conforms to the skin. It can track various biomarkers, such as temperature and pH, to help doctors monitor inflammation and infection. The researchers tested the bandage on rodents with diabetes, demonstrating its potential to speed up healing. If used on humans, the bandage would transmit data to a smart device or computer, deliver medication, and provide electrical stimulation.
The smart bandages will also be relatively cheap
The cost of the electronic patch is estimated to be less than $100. However, the bandage is not expected to hit the market for another five to ten years.
Dr. Wei Gao, the leader of the study, explained, as the New York Post quotes:
There are many different types of chronic wounds — especially in diabetic ulcers and burns that last a long time and cause huge issues for the patient,
There is a demand for technology that can facilitate recovery.
He also added, as the same source quotes:
We have shown this proof of concept in small animal models, but, down the road, we would like to increase the stability of the device and also to test it on larger chronic wounds because the wound parameters and microenvironment may vary from site to site.
Medical experiments performed on rodents, such as mice and rats, have been a cornerstone of biomedical research for many years. These experiments are essential in understanding how different biological systems work and how diseases develop and progress. Rodents are often used in medical experiments because they share many similarities with humans in terms of genetics, anatomy, and physiology.