New bandage technology could advance healing process

New bandage technology could be a faster, cost-efficient way to heal injuries.  

Image By: Téalin Robinson

A team at UW-Madison has recently developed a wound-dressing that could speed up the healing process of injuries, both temporary and chronic.

The bandage was created by UW-Madison materials science and engineering professor Xudong Wang along with his team of researchers. It does not look like a traditional bandage but rather is a band with an electrode that goes around the injury.

The device uses energy-harvesting units called nanogenerators to measure a patient’s body motion and send low-intensity electric pulses to the site of their injury.

The team’s research was published in the journal ACS Nano, which described that when tested on rodents, the dressing sped up the healing process to three days rather than the 12 it takes for normal contraction-based healing.

Wang said the device will be especially useful for chronic injuries, including ulcers and wounds from illnesses such as diabetes.

“Chronic wounds can be very hard to heal, so by using the electrical band, the technology can help these chronic wounds heal faster,” Wang said.

Despite the added technology of this band, Wang said the device will be inexpensive.

“I don’t expect the cost to be more than a regular bandage,” Wang said.

The device has not been tested on humans yet, but Wang said the next step of the team’s research will be to test the device on pig skin, which mimics human tissue.

Wang hopes the device will be available to human patients within two years. 

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