Smart Bandages in Development at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
New England Council members Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School are teaming up to develop ‘smart bandages.’ Researchers from these institutions hope to make devices which would be able to tell doctors how wounds are healing, and also able to distribute medicine to them.
The project received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop smart bandages over the course of four years. Two years in, there has already been exciting progress as the bandages are now in the prototype stage. The bandages are made of flexible rubber with electronic sensors visible through a clear gel. Members of the research team are working on making the bandages smaller and biodegradable. They hope to be able to be able to develop bandages which can sense pH balance changes (which can indicate infections) and oxygen levels. The team also hopes to make smart bandages which are able to deliver oxygen and antibiotics to wounds.
“These kind of smart devices of different forms, that would integrate smart materials and smart electronics, are the way of the future. There’s no question in my mind that there are needs that require this kind of device. And furthermore, I think with the pressure to reduce health care costs, these could become more important,” said Dr. Ali Khademhosseini, a bioengineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School who is leading the project.
The New England Council applauds its members for their work on innovative devices that improve the lives of patients worldwide.