E-bandages. Just the mention of this is set to intrigue people of any age and size. The common questions of how could electricity even be a potent cure for healing the wounds, right? Well, a new study has definitely left every gobsmacked with this new medical breakthrough.
A new study (R) conducted by the scientists from the American Chemical Society have developed new e-bandages which is a self-powered bandage that helps heal a wound by creating an electric field over the injury. This was found to be quite impactful in drastically reducing the wound healing time in the rats.
This study was mainly aimed at curating better wound healing approaches for the chronic pain. Some of the common instances of chronic pain include diabetic foot ulcers, non-healing surgical wounds and venous ulcers. These injuries and wounds are often very stubborn to heal and deal with.
Doctors have actually tried multiple methods to fasten the wound healing process, right from trying different kinds of bandaging techniques to doing dressings various times of the day. They have even tried with oxygen exposure and growth factor therapy, every single one of them being a complete waste of time.
The main objective of using electrical stimulation for skin wound healing first dates back to the 1960s. The only drawback in this developed concept was the fact that the machine used in the healing process is rather quite bulky which makes it harder for people to have an easier access to the healing process. Patients have even been reported to have to be admitted to the hospital to get that base covered.
Weibo Cai, Xudong Wang along with their colleagues wanted to develop a flexible and much portable form of the deduced process. They wanted to work on developing a self powered bandage that would be capable enough to convert the skin movements into an effective therapeutic electric field.
Now, the question that irked the minds of the researchers was how to power the bandage to produce the required electric field. In order to power the electric bandage, the researcher developed a wearable nanogenerator by overlapping the sheets of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) along with copper foil and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
The nanogenerator was the one responsible for converting the skin movements into small electrical impulses that effectively was able to produce the necessary amount of electric field. These small movements were recorded during the breathing process or even during the normal activities.
The generated small impulses of the current then flowed to the two working electrodes that were placed on either side of the wound. This is where the electric field was generated for an entire week. The efficacy of the device was tested out by placing it on the rats back.
Following the week of the application of the electrical impulse, the observations were taken down. It was found that the wound closed in just 3 days which did take 12 days without the e-bandages. The researchers concluded for a fact that the process of wound healing was hastened because of the enhanced fibroblast migration along with the proliferation and differentiation owing to the induction by the electrical field.