A group of researchers have created a self-powered bandage that can generate an electronic field over an injury that is capable of reducing the healing time for any skin wounds.
As per the recent study, which was published in the journal ACS Nano, the newly discovered electronic bandage or e-bandage takes three days to cover the wound, while a normal bandage with no electric field takes 12 days.
In the early 1960s, medical researchers found that the electrical stimulation can heal skin wounds, but applying such method has remained limited as the equipment for generating the electric field becomes often large and may require hospitalisation of a patient.
The researchers, who were involved in this recent study, Weibo Cai and Xudong Wang from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in US, as well as their colleagues, wanted to develop a self-powered and flexible bandage that would be able to convert skin movements into a therapeutic electric field.
The findings of this research suggested that the self-powered e-dressing modality "could lead to a facile therapeutic strategy for non-healing skin wound treatment."
The study said that to provide power to the e-bandage the researchers made a wearable nano-generator by overlapping sheets of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and copper foil. This nano-generator can convert the skin movements, which happens during normal and breathing activities, into small electrical pulses. Then the electricity passes through the two working electrodes that were placed on either side of the skin wound to produce a weak electric field.
The researchers tested the model by placing it over wounds on rats' backs and they attribute the faster wound healing to enhanced proliferation, fibroblast migration and differentiation induced by the electric field.