The use of electrical impulses for the treatment or prevention of certain ailments has been known in medicine for a long time, but all previous solutions in this area were reduced to cumbersome stationary installations. And the developers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison decided to create a portable version of such a medical device. For this, it was necessary to abandon the key element - batteries with a reserve of energy.
The band is designed to be worn on the torso to respond to chest movements during breathing. Between the layers of elastic tissue are nanogenerators, small and simple devices that convert the body's mechanical energy into electrical energy. The power of such impulses is symbolic, the intensity is also low, but this is also a big plus - the risk of burns and other damage to the patient's skin with electricity is excluded.
Through the electrodes, an electric current flows directly to the affected area of the skin. To do this, the doctor must assemble the entire system, apply a bandage correctly, and after that it will work in a passive mode. Electrical impulses act on fibroblasts in connective tissue cells, optimizing the production of substances for tissue growth and wound healing. In experiments on rats, cuts on the skin under electrical bands were completely overgrown four times faster - for three days together 10-12 days.
In parallel with the therapeutic function, the electric bandage also performs the tasks of a research device - scientists want to better understand how small electrical impulses are converted into a healing force. And it would also be nice to get rid of the attachment to breathing and adapt the nanogenerators to work from the heartbeat - this is also a mechanical process and a potential source of energy. If we succeed in solving these problems, electric bandages can revolutionize medicine and become the newest class of therapeutic agents.