A Smart Wireless Bandage That Monitors Your Wounds, and Treats Them, Too
A team of researchers working under the Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative have developed a “smart bandage” which, they claim, does not only monitor wounds wirelessly, but can actively speed up healing through the application of electrical stimulation. They claim the bandage can cut healing time by 25% and scarring in half.
The flexible, wearable bandage contains a microcontroller, impedance and temperature sensors, a compact antenna for a built-in radio, and an electrical stimulator — in a circuit measuring just 100 microns, or around the size of a single layer of latex paint, in thickness. This is mounted atop hydrogel which adheres to the wound to protect it from the outside world, yet peels away easily when gently heated under an infrared lamp.
Sealing a wound with a hydrogel bandage isn’t new, but it’s the electronics which provide the novelty in the team’s creation: the sensors actively monitor the wound and respond with electrical stimulation when necessary — something which prior research, backed up by the team’s experimental findings, has shown can accelerate wound closure, reduce scarring, and even fight infection, with test subjects healing around 25 percent faster and with 50 percent less scarring.
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