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Modern day tech developers are always trying to improve our life in one way or the other. Those developing new technologies in the health sector are doubly so. This new development can be imperative to the way we treat the healing process of wounds on the human body.

A new kind of smart bandage developed at Caltech may make treatment of these easier, more effective, and less expensive, especially wounds developed in individuals with diabetes, whose healing cycle is much slower than that of an average person.

These smart bandages were developed in the lab of Wei Gao, assistant professor of medical engineering, Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, and Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar.

“There are many different types of chronic wounds, especially in diabetic ulcers and burns that last a long time and cause huge issues for the patient,” Gao says. “There is a Smart Bandagesdemand for technology that can facilitate recovery.”

Unlike a typical bandage, which might only consist of layers of absorbent material, the smart bandages are made from a flexible and stretchy polymer containing embedded electronics and medication. The electronics allow the sensor to monitor for molecules like uric acid or lactate and conditions like pH level or temperature in the wound that may be indicative of inflammation or bacterial infection, as explained by

“We have shown this proof of concept in small animal models, but down the road, we would like to increase the stability of the device but also to test it on larger chronic wounds because the wound parameters and microenvironment may vary from site to site,” says Gao.