Faculty in the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) biomedical engineering department — which includes the UConn School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, and School of Engineering — have designed a wirelessly controlled, or “smart,” bandage and smartphone-sized platform that they suggest can precisely deliver different medications to the wound with independent dosing.

This bandage, developed by Dr Ali Tamayol, associate professor, and researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Harvard Medical School, is equipped with miniature needles that can be controlled wirelessly — allowing the drugs to be programmed by care providers without even visiting the patient.

“This is an important step in engineering advanced bandages that can facilitate the healing of hard-to-treat wounds. The bandage does not need to be changed continuously,” Tamayol says, in a media release from the University of Connecticut.

Given the range of processes necessary for wound healing, different medications are needed at different stages of tissue regeneration. The bandage — a wearable device — can deliver medicine with minimal invasiveness, the researchers suggest.

With the platform, the provider can wirelessly control the release of multiple drugs delivered through the miniature needles. These needles are able to penetrate into deeper layers of the wound bed with minimal pain and inflammation. This method proved to be more effective for wound closure and hair growth as compared to the topical administration of drugs.

The research, recently published in Advanced Functional Materials, was first conducted on cells and later on diabetic mice with full thickness skin injury. With this technology, the mice showed signs of complete healing and lack of scar formation.

These findings can potentially replace existing wound care systems and significantly reduce the morbidity of chronic wounds, the release explains.

[Source(s): University of Connecticut, Science Daily]