AmericaResearchers have found a way to apply electricity to wound healing, which promotes healing by killing bacteria.
Developed by the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation in Los Angeles, the ePatch medical bandage integrates electrodes made from copper nanofibers combined with a hydrogel made from seaweed called alginate. Alginate has been widely used in surgical gowns due to its biocompatibility and optimum moisture content. By chemically modifying alginate and adding calcium, the scientists were able to increase the function and stability of the silver nanofibers. The finished hydrogel is printed onto a flexible silicone sheet. Part of the surface of that silicon sheet covers the design.
When the design is removed later, the remaining alginate forms two electrodes and is connected to an external power source. By varying the size and shape of the silicone sheet, the team was able to create an ePatche that can cover and adjust to the shape of a variety of wounds.
When testing the technology on rats with external wounds, the scientists found that the electric current from the bandages accelerated healing, not only by causing the skin and granulosa cells to move to the wound site, but also through stimulating blood vessel formation and reducing inflammation. While wounds in untreated mice took 20 days to heal, mice treated with ePatch took only 7 days.
In addition, thanks to the antibacterial properties of the wound, infection is kept to a minimum. When the ePatche was removed at the end of the treatment, the mice using the product had less scarring than the control group, partly because skin cells did not stick to the silicone substrate, so they didn’t come off with the bandages.
“By carefully selecting materials and optimizing gel formulations, we were able to develop multifunctional, easy-to-manufacture and cost-effective medical dressings that accelerate wound healing,” said Dr. Han-Jun Kim at the Teraski Institute shared. Research published in the journal Biomaterials.
An Khang (According to New Atlas)
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