Engineering 101

New Bandage Could Help You Heal

By Dawn Allcot

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Wounds that heal too slowly – or don’t heal at all – can cause infections and even lead to gangrene. People with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and vascular diseases may face great danger from slow-healing wounds.

Researchers at Binghamton University have developed skin-inspired electronics to conform to the skin, allowing for long-term, high-performance, real-time wound monitoring in users. These skin-inspired, open-mesh electromechanical sensors are capable of monitoring lactate and oxygen on the skin.

“We eventually hope that these sensors and engineering accomplishments can help advance healthcare applications and provide a better quantitative understanding in disease progression, wound care, general health, fitness monitoring and more,” said Matthew Brown, a Ph.D. student at Binghamton University.

Biosensors are analytical devices that combine a biological component with a physiochemical detector to observe and analyze a chemical substance and its reaction in the body. Conventional biosensor technology, while a great advancement in the medical field, still has limitations to overcome and improvements to be made to enhance their functionality.

Under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Ahyeon Koh, Brown, master’s students Brandon Ashely and Youjoong Park, and undergraduate student Sally Kuan designed a sensor that is structured similarly to that of the skin’s microarchitecture. This wearable sensor is equipped with gold sensor cables capable of exhibiting similar mechanics to that of skin elasticity.

The researchers hope to create a new mode of sensor that will meld seamlessly with the wearer’s body to maximize body analysis to help understand chemical and physiological information.

They hope that future research will utilize this skin-inspired sensor design to incorporate more biomarkers and create even more multifunctional sensors to help with wound healing. They hope to see these sensors being developed incorporated into internal organs to gain an increased understanding of the diseases that affect these organs and the human body.

Story via Binghamton University.

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