US space agency NASA has developed a high-tech electroactive bandage that creates an electric charge to help promote the healing process of wounds. The bandage is made of an electroactive material that is stimulated by pressure of cell growth and body heat.
An electroactive device is applied to an external wound site, which utilises low level electrical stimulation to promote wound healing. Electroactive material is so sensitive that a push or even blow on it can create an electric charge. The fibres of the guaze are made of electroactive material Polyvinylidene Flouride (PVDF), which are stimulated by the heat of the body and the pressure of cell growth, thus no external power source is required.
This technology is a device that uses electrical activity to facilitate the wound healing process while protecting the wound. The bandage also minimises infection and related complications such as illness or amputation. It speeds the wound’s healing process. The electroactive material is made using PVDF.
NASA’s high-tech bandage might one day help heal wounds in areas that do not have easy accessibility to any kind of healthcare. The space agency can also use this technology for its manned missions to Mars, and other planets – allowing an astronaut to just stick a bandage to his/her injury to heal.
In conditions of non-Earth gravity, human blood displays behaviour quite different from that on Earth. Wounds are likely to heal much more slowly and considering the survival risks and the cost of space missions, healing wounds as fast as possible is crucial. The bandage could be used by military personnel wounded in the field, patients who have undergone surgery or who have suffered a serious wound and astronauts in space.
The invention is a ‘simple and inexpensive means of producing fibres and mats of controlled fibre diameter, porosity, and thickness.’ The easiest way to align the fibres is to make gauze which also creates an additional layer of protection against infection. If the electroactive bandage is a success, then it will be used by many other space agencies soon, like India’s ISRO.