UConn Researchers from the School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, and School of Engineering have joined forces to develop a wirelessly controlled ‘smart bandage’ designed to accurately deliver different medications to a wound with independent dosing.
The bandage, developed by lead researcher, Dr. Ali Tamayol, associate professor and researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Harvard Medical School, works with a smartphone-sized platform that contains tiny, wirelessly controlled needles which deliver prescribed drugs by a doctor or caregiver without ever having to visit the patient.
A new “smart bandage” developed at UConn could help improve clinical care for people with chronic wounds—one of the most devastating complications of diabetes and the leading cause of limb amputation.https://t.co/bJ4eVK0anU @UConnHealth @UConnEngineer
— UConn (@UConn) February 13, 2020
The researchers who developed the bandage say it could act as a vital step in creating a range of smart bandages that can facilitate the healing of hard to treat wounds like chronic and non-healing wounds.
According to Tamayol, “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.”
The tiny needles are able to penetrate into the deeper layers of the wound bed with minimal pain and inflammation, delivering a multitude of different drugs, which is a key factor in the different stages of tissue regeneration. During the smart bandages trials, researchers found that it was most effective for wound closure and hair growth when compared to the conventional administration of drugs, with test mice showing complete healing and lack of scar formation.
Poorly treated diabetic wounds often lead to limb amputations, which can deeply affect the quality of life for a patient. Researchers believe their new smart bandage will replace the conventional care systems and reduce the morbidity of chronic wounds, which in turn will change the way diabetic wounds are treated.