This New E-Bandage Is the Future - medtigo



This New E-Bandage Is the Future

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Individuals with diabetes are vulnerable to developing foot ulcers. Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago have developed an electronic bandage that may be of assistance to individuals in need.  

In an animal study published on February 22 in the journal Science Advances, the revolutionary technology was highlighted. The electric bandage successfully treated diabetic foot ulcers 30% more quickly than mice without the device. The device delivers electrotherapy directly to the location of the wound. Electrotherapy is routinely used to relax muscles, with deep tissue being heated electromagnetically or ultrasonically in the vast majority of cases.  

Diabetes impacts how the body converts nutrients into energy. Following a meal, the body converts food into sugar (glucose) that is then released into the bloodstream. When blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas receives a signal to produce more insulin, which is essential for allowing glucose to enter cells for energy. Type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes are the principal kinds of diabetes.  

An autoimmune reaction, often known as a self-attack, is believed to be the etiology of type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes are unable to maintain normal blood sugar levels due to inefficient glucose metabolism. Although it is impossible to prevent type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be prevented.  

There are approximately 37,3 million Americans with diabetes and 96 million with pre-diabetes, according to the CDC. 15% to 25% of diabetic people suffer from diabetic foot ulcers, according to Northwestern University researchers. In fact, according to the Department of Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), 85 percent of diabetic amputations are caused by foot ulceration.  

The risk of diabetic foot ulcers and limb amputation increases with age. Most diabetic foot ulcers form on the bottom of the foot. Foot ulcers are preventable, according to the UCSF, if underlying diseases such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy or peripheral artery disease are adequately recognized or treated.  

The electronic bandage developed by scientists at Northwestern University monitors the healing process and disappears once it is no longer required. To encourage healing, the device replicates endogenous natural electric fields. Guillermo A. Ameer, co-leader of the Northwestern study, feels the device’s comfortable, affordable, and fast-acting solutions will be of great assistance to diabetic patients.  

“The objective is always to close a wound as quickly as possible,” adds Ameer. “Without antibiotics, an open wound is susceptible to infection. And infections are significantly more difficult to cure and deadly for diabetic patients. For these individuals, there is a significant unmet demand for efficient, cost-effective therapies. Our novel bandage is economical, simple to apply, adjustable, comfortable, and successful in healing wounds to prevent infections and future issues.” 

The device is tiny and is designed to be wrapped around the wound with care. On one side of the bandage are a flower-shaped electrode that lays on the wound bed and a ring-shaped electrode that surrounds the entire wound. On the other side of the bandage, an energy-harvesting coil provides power to the system, while a near-field communication (NFC) technology provides researchers with instantaneous data. 

Sensors were utilized by researchers to monitor the wound-healing process. By measuring the electrical current’s resistance across a wound, physicians are able to observe the healing process. Constantly decreasing electrical current rates connect with the healing process.  


“When a wound attempts to heal, it creates a moist environment,” explains Ameer. The wound should thereafter become dry as it heals. By measuring the electrical resistance in the wound, we are able to identify the presence of moisture. Then, we will be able to capture and wirelessly send this data. We aim for the wound to heal within a month when managing wound care. The delay can generate issues if it is prolonged.  

After the healing of the wound, the flower-shaped electrode disappears in the body. Molybdenum is utilized to create the device’s recognizable electrodes. Researchers discovered that thin molybdenum is capable of biodegradation and does not hinder the healing process.  

Ameer and his colleague John A. Rogers aim to do a more extended animal study to test the bandage for diabetic ulcers in the next stage. As the bandage does not include any pharmaceuticals or biologics, a Northwestern University press release indicates that the drug could enter the market sooner rather than later. 


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