“If you don’t fall, you will never learn to ride the bicycle”. We all hear this line at least once while learning to ride the bicycle. If this would have been true, we would have learned to fall first. Jokes apart, falling down might teach us to ride the bicycle but it also gives us wounds. A small wound is easy to tackle, we don’t even attend the wounds sometimes. But in some cases the wounds are chronic. These chronic wounds are a real problem to deal with.
What are chronic wounds?
A chronic wound is a wound that does not heal in an orderly set of stages. The healing time of these wounds is difficult to predict. Usually, they that take more than a few months to heal.
Healing them is a long process, the medicines, the bandages, the pain etc. The current bandages used have a long healing period. Researchers have now come up with a replacement to these messy and often unhygienic bandages. The E-bandage. In this world of smartwatch and smartphones, bandages are becoming smart too.
What are e-Bandages??
e-bandage is a self-powered bandages. The main motive behind this product is to reduce the healing time of wounds. With the help of an e-bandage, the healing time has reduced dramatically. The normal healing time of a skin wound is 12 days with a normal bandage, but with an e-bandage, it heals within 3 days, says research.
How do e-bandages work??
e-bandages basically create an electric field in the area of the wound. Researchers have proved it long back that electric field helps in the fast recovery of the wound. But its application was never done. The smart healing patch in an e-bandage is the size of a postal stamp, made of conductive fiber.
This fiber is coated with water-based gel. The gel can be loaded with drugs depending on the requirement of the wound. Antibiotics can be inserted into the gel along with painkillers, and the substance, as well as the dosage, can be remotely controlled using the smartphones.
Where do e-bandages get their energy supply from??
To power the e-bandage, the researchers made a Nanogenerator. The Nanogenerators are made by overlapping sheets of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), copper file and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
The Nanogenerator converts skin movements into an electric pulse. The skin movements also include normal activities and even minute movements that happen during breathing. This pulse flows to two working electrodes.
These electrodes replaced on either side of the wound and produce a weak electric field. The team tested the device by placing it over wounds on rats back. Though it is still under research this is a big step in medical science.
The majority of the components have been approved by the FDA. But before bringing it to the market it still needs to undergo a number of tests.
e-bandages are a huge milestone in medical science. The step to cure chronic wounds was a needed remedy to cure pains that are so difficult to bear. Not only for the patients but also for other people, e-bandages are proving to be a boon. Technology has literally touched many important aspects of human life.