Smart bandage is able to monitor wounds, administer medicine

Avatar By Joseph Scalise | 2 years ago

Scientists from Tufts University are in development on a smart bandage that can keep track of a wound and dispense medicine to the injured area when necessary, according to a new study published in the journal Small.

The new technology does everything related to proper wound treatment. Not only does it monitor both the pH and temperature of the gash, it also has the ability to diagnose and dispense drugs if a problem occurs. That administration comes from a central processor, which a doctor can program to administer treatment if specific conditions are met.

“A stimuli‐responsive drug releasing system comprising of a hydrogel loaded with thermo‐responsive drug carriers and an electronically controlled flexible heater is also integrated into the wound dressing to release the drugs on‐demand,” wrote the team in their paper, according to Engadget.

The new bandage can also monitor treatment to see if further steps are needed once the drugs are given out. It can provide real-time status updates through Bluetooth as well.

Currently, chronic wounds are one of the leading causes of amputation around the world. A flexible and readily available bandage that can deliver real-time treatment could be instrumental in cutting back on those numbers by reducing infection and promoting healing.

While this is not the first time researchers have attempted to incorporate technology into a bandage, it is more promising than other attempts because the bandage itself can administer treatment. That has not been done before and it could help separate this model from the pack.

“What we have demonstrated is a flexible smart bandage that has your drug cocktail in it,” study co-author Sameer Sonkusale, a professor at Tufts University, told Digital Trends. “It senses how the wound is healing and delivers the drug in real time in appropriate quantity to make it heal faster.”

While there is still a long way to go before the device is ready for real world application, there is no doubt potential. The team next plans to test the technology on chronic wounds in animals to see if it is as effective as early testing suggested.