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UConn researchers create 'Smart' Bandages to heal chronic wounds

Researchers in the University of Connecticut biomedical engineering department—a shared department with the UConn School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, and School of Engineering— have designed a wirelessly-controlled, or “smart,” bandage and corresponding smartphone-sized platform that can precisely deliver different medications to the wound with independent dosing, the university reports.
The bandage, developed by Dr. Ali Tamayol, associate professor, and researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Harvard Medical School, 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 article Tamayol is a BMES member. 

“This is an important step in engineering advanced bandages that can facilitate the healing of hard to treat wounds,” Tamayol said in the article. “The bandage does not need to be changed continuously.”

Given the range of processes necessary of wound healing, different medications are needed at different stages of tissue regeneration. The bandage—a wearable device—can deliver medicine with minimal invasiveness.

With the platform, the provider can wirelessly control the release of multiple drugs delivered through the miniature needles. These needles are able to penetrate into deeper layers of the wound bed with minimal pain and inflammation. 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, recently published in the Advanced Functional Materials journal, was first conducted on cells and later on diabetic mice with full thickness skin injury. 

Read more HERE.