UConn researchers design new wireless smart-bandage to heal wounds

UConn scientists from the School of Dental Medicine, School of Medicine, and School of Engineering have teamed to design a wirelessly controlled smart bandage. It works in conjunction with a smartphone-sized platform that can precisely deliver different medications to the wound with independent dosing. The bandage was developed by UConn, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Harvard Medical School.

The bandage has miniature needles that can be controlled wirelessly, allowing the delivery of drugs to be programmed by care providers without visiting the patient. The team says that the bandage is an important step in engineering advanced bandages that can facilitate the healing of hard to treat wounds. Another important aspect of the bandage is that it doesn't need to be changed continuously.

Designers say that the bandage can deliver medicine with minimal invasiveness. The small needles can penetrate deeper into the wound bed and with minimal pain and inflammation. The team says the method is more effective for wound closure and hair regrowth compared topical administration of drugs.

Testing involved first using the device on cells and later diabetic mice with full-thickness skin injury. Mice in the study showed complete healing and lack of scar formation. The team says that shows the bandage can significantly improve the rate and quality of wound healing in diabetic animals.

There is a potential for the new bandage to replace existing would care systems and reduce the morbidity of chronic wounds and change the way diabetic wounds are treated. Poorly treated diabetic wounds can result in the need to amputate limbs lead to a reduced quality of life.