What is a smart bandage, with the help of which doctors can treat patients from a distance? - Newztezz Online


Sunday, June 2, 2024

What is a smart bandage, with the help of which doctors can treat patients from a distance?


When someone gets a cut, scratch, burn or wound, the body heals it automatically. But this does not always happen. Diabetes affects the body's ability to heal scratches. In this disease, such wounds are also formed which do not go away. These wounds later get infected and rot. These increase the risk of other types of diseases. To deal with such problems, work is going on on 'smart bandage' in many countries.

Our skin is at the forefront of fighting against infectious organisms. But when the skin becomes weak or scratched, the body is unable to prevent the attack of bacteria as before. Our immune system works to fight these bacteria, but if the wound is too deep, then even the immune system is unable to completely stop the attack of bacteria. In such cases, smart bandages will open a new dimension of medicine.

What is a smart bandage?

'Smart-bandage' is a new concept which is being continuously worked upon. At present, it can be considered as a bandage which directly helps in wound healing or gives information about the patient's wound and health condition. It is being said that this will help in healing wounds quickly and will also reduce expenses.

How does smart-bandage work?

Before understanding how a bandage works, we need to understand wounds. There are two types of wounds. One is acute (healing quickly) and the other is chronic (which take time to heal). Acute wounds, like cutting a finger while cutting vegetables, are not so dangerous. But wounds that take time to heal are prone to infection.

The smart-bandage being developed at Caltech is made of flexible polymers containing embedded electronics and drugs. These electronics would allow the sensor to monitor molecules such as uric acid or lactate and conditions such as pH level or temperature in the wound, which could be a sign of inflammation or bacterial infection. Such a bandage would prove to be very useful in the treatment of diseases such as diabetic ulcers.

Smart-bandage with capsule

So that the wound heals quickly, work is also going on to develop smart bandages that are equipped with medicines. These bandages will have small capsules filled with antibiotics. If there is an infection, the doctor will be able to remotely instruct the smart bandage to open the capsule and apply ointment directly on the wound. If antibiotics are applied to the wound quickly, there is a possibility of the wound healing quickly. This will prevent collagen (a type of protein), which forms a scar at the site of the wound.

Has the smart bandage prototype been completed?

Research on smart-bandages is going on in many countries. Biomedical engineer and professor at Northwestern University Guillermo Ameer told the Wall Street Journal, 'When we first started in this field five years ago, there were very few people working on smart systems or smart bandages. Now many researchers are working on this not only in America but also in China and Europe.'

Different versions of smart-bandages have started being shown at medical conferences and exhibitions. Most bandages include tiny electronics that wirelessly inform the doctor about how the wound is healing. According to the report, the scientific team intends to begin human trials of this bandage next year.

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