Bandages have been a successful wound healing solution for centuries. I hope you are all familiar with the special “Band-Aid” invented by Earle Dickson (who worked at his Johnson & Johnson at the time). The motivation for developing Band-Aids is also inspiring. Dixon’s wife, Josephine, suffered constant cleaver cuts and frequent bleeding. Love was the catalyst, Earl acquired a large amount of cotton at his company and eventually taped his skin with a cotton ball that started the famous Band-Aid. is considered to be superior. why? Band-aids are great for standard cuts and scrapes. But what happens when you get a wound that a bandage can’t easily reach (for example, between your fingers or toes)?
Well, polymers exist to solve problems.
For example, Yosuke Okamura developed a new polymeric bandage using ultra-thin, transparent, adhesive, and highly flexible nanosheets made of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA). Poly-L-lactic acid is a flexible, adhesive, biodegradable polyester that is perfect for transforming into modern bandages.
These nanosheets have the ability to adhere to uneven as well as flat surfaces without the addition of external adhesives. It’s flexible and warp sticky like this, so you can roll it anywhere you like. This invention is a breakthrough in how to treat burn victims. As you know, bandaging burn victims is tedious and complicated. Especially with severe burns. Additionally, burn wounds are prone to infection and protection from bacteria is essential for successful recovery. This is where nanosheets play a pivotal role in redefining the bandage industry, which has tailor-made properties that can be implanted in any shape possible.
Okamura’s team at Tokai University tested the ability of these nanosheets to coat irregular and complex shapes by dipping various objects, such as metal needles and mouse fingers, into the mixture. how does that work? When the material is placed in a test tube with water and spun, large clumps eventually break into sheets, creating tiny holes that are destructive. However, when liquid is poured onto a flat surface, these tiny pieces overlap like a patchwork to form a single nanosheet. So after experimenting with this material on a mouse finger, Okamura’s team reported that patchwork works well even in bumps and wrinkles, ultimately opening up future directions for smart bandages.
What more? These bandages are said to have antibacterial properties. This means that these bandages are essentially impervious to the germs of burn victims, making them one of the more robust materials used for bandages.
The product is currently being tested at lab scale, but we are fully capable of jumping into the scalable space with a priority on commercialization. PLLA is a readily available commodity plastic. This means bandage development must generally be straightforward and cost-effective to meet global demand. Polymers are revolutionizing the world, and bandages are just the beginning.
The above views are those of the author.
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