Bandage uses body’s own energy to speed wound healing

UW–Madison researchers have developed a bandage that uses the body’s own electrical energy to speed wound healing.

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

The futuristic bandage, developed by Xudong Wang, professor of materials science and engineering at UW–Madison, and researched on human skin by Angela Gibson, MD, PhD, assistant professor of surgery at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and a burn and acute care surgeon at UW Health, was shown to heal a wound more than four times faster than a traditional dressing. The novel bandage uses the body’s natural movement to generate an electric field.

About three years ago, researchers in surgery and engineering at UW–Madison first created and tested the bandage, finding that it significantly accelerated wound healing in rats. In September 2021, they published the results of their latest study in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology.

The results from the original research were encouraging, but more testing was needed to learn whether the bandage would work on human skin, Gibson said.

“When we tested it on wounded human skin that we’d grafted onto a mouse, the wound healed completely in seven days compared to the typical 30 days using a standard dressing,” she said.

The bandage works by using a tiny generator, called a nanogenerator, to capture energy from natural movements like breathing and twitching. The nanogenerator converts that energy into mild electric pulses that are sent to an electrode in the bandage, which then creates an electric field around the wound. Read more …