The idea of bandaging a wound is to keep the external agents at bay from the wounded area. This helps in saving the user from further damage that can be caused by infection. However, what about the bacteria that have managed to make it to the wound before the bandage was done? The new bandage is capable of pulling out the bacteria that has penetrated the wound. When the bandage comes off of the skin, it takes the bacteria away with it; the very same bacteria that had penetrated the wound.
The technology is still being developed at the Swinburne University of Technology that is based in Australia. As of now, it has only been tested on tissue-engineered skin instead of actual human skill. The species of bacteria that are under investigation are responsible for chronic wound infection such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
The bandage uses a combination of polymer filaments for its construction. Each polymer’s strand in this particular mesh is about a hundred times thinner than human hair and are created using a process known as electrospinning; a method where you squeeze the material in an electrified nozzle. This was tested for the first time on a film of Staphylococcus aureus. According to researchers’ report, the mesh was able to squeeze out the bacteria within no time. The team was also able to study the ability of bacteria to bind with varying thickness of each strand. Closer inspection revealed that the bacteria were not able to adhere to the fiber that was shorter than the cells of Staphylococcus aureus.
The next step involved coating each strand with different compounds to observe how the bacteria adhere to them. The team concluded that Escherichia coli quickly attaches itself to fibers coated with allylamine. Acrylic acid coating didn’t work out too well. The research’s final result has yet to be published, however, the team is hopeful that the bandage will be performing quite well when tested against real human skin.
The research could do wonders for those who have a weak immune system and for patients of AIDS, cancer, diabetes and victims of burns. Apart from that, it can be used for the creation of filters to keep the bacteria away. Let’s see how well it performs and how long does it take for this technology to be marketed.