When someone suffers a serious injury, timing can literally be a matter of life or death. Blood loss must be tackled immediately, but care must also be taken to prevent infection of the wound.
Chemical engineers working at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a dual-function ‘smart bandage’ that could save lives, not only by stopping bleeding but also by preventing infection.
The bandage is designed to rapidly dispense a coagulating agent that stops bleeding and then slowly release an antibiotic to prevent infection. This work is published in the journal ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering under the title: Multifunctional Self-Assembled Films for Rapid Hemostat and Sustained Anti-infective Delivery.
The group developing these smart bandages is led by Professor Paula T. Hammond, the David H. Koch Chair Professor of Engineering in the Chemical Engineering Department at MIT. Paula suggests that the bandages might prove particularly effective in the treatment of wounded soldiers on the battlefield when a medic is not present.