This New Bandage Will Shock You, Literally


Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have designed a novel type of electrically simulating dressing. The wound dressing is intended to accelerate the process of healing dramatically. The dressing additionally utilizes the electrical pulses generated by the patient’s own body that would boost tissue growth. At the same time, this bandage is highly cost-efficient.

Xudong Wang, a scientist at UW-Madison, expresses the research group’s surprise at the speed of wound recovery. He says that while they hoped for some effect of using electrical impulses on the wound, test results exceeded their expectations. The beneficial effect of electricity on skin healing has been known for some time now. However, this is a first of its kind low-intensity impulses used for wound healing.

Nanotechnology Used to Harvest Energy

The dressing developed by the scientists comprises of small electrodes placed on the site of injury. These are linked to nanogenerators, which act as an energy-harvesting band. These are to be looped around the patient’s torso. As the patient breathes, the involuntary contraction and expansion caused due to breathing enable the nanogenerators. These nanogenerators then provide low-intensity pulses of electric current to the wound dressing.

During the initial test stages, the bandage successfully brings down a healing duration of two weeks to just three days. Further tests are expected to be carried out on pig tissues in the coming days, as they resemble human skin. If these bandages prove successful, the field of wound care is expected to be revolutionized.

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