Smart bandage

  • A number of research groups around the world have already produced promising experimental versions of futuristic bandages that could take our healing game to the next level. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting examples.
  • ​With a few experimental exceptions, bandages generally just cover wounds, as opposed to actively healing them. That's not the case with a new heat-activated "active adhesive dressing" (AAD), however, which forgoes antibiotics while mimicking embryonic skin.
  • For some time now, scientists have known that electrical currents can help heal chronic wounds. And while there are electrotherapy units that are in use, they can be quite bulky and complex. That's why researchers have created an "electric bandage" that's powered by the motion of the body.
  • Chronic skin wounds may be notoriously difficult to treat, but at the same time they shouldn't be OVER-treated, subjecting patients to more antibiotics than is necessary. That's why scientists have developed a "smart" bandage that only dispenses medication as needed.
  • ​Because diabetics often have both nerve damage and poor circulation, they will often not notice when they receive skin wounds, which proceed to heal very slowly. Those wounds can thus become chronic. A new regenerative bandage, however, could help keep this from happening.
  • When a patient is suffering from a condition such as venous leg ulcers, that limb needs to be wrapped in a compression bandage. It's important, however, that the the correct amount of pressure is applied. New color-changing bandage fibers have been designed to ensure that caregivers get it right.
  • ​Imagine if a bandage could release fresh doses of medication over time, or even different types of medication at specific times. Well, researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard Medical School and MIT have developed just such a thing … and it could be controlled by a smartphone.
  • Open wounds are something of a paradox – they need to be checked regularly, yet taking the dressing off too often just increases the risk of infection. That's why researchers have developed a new bandage that lets caregivers monitor the healing progress of wounds, from the outside.
  • Through a special organ on their snouts, pit vipers can sense the body heat of their prey. Scientists have developed an artificial skin that uses a similar mechanism​ and could allow prosthetic limbs to detect changes in temperature, or make a smart bandage that can warn of infection.
  • A team of researchers from Southwestern University has created a bandage with a single purpose in mind –​ giving the body a helping hand in healing diabetic wounds.
  • When a burn wound is healing, it's highly-susceptible to infection, and bandages often make the situation worse, acting as breeding grounds for harmful microbes. A new bandage could improve the healing process considerably, accelerating the scarring process, while stopping bacteria multiplying.
  • A team of researchers have developed what could function as an early warning system for bedsores, a smart bandage containing flexible electronics that detects tissue damage before it becomes visible on the surface of the skin.