Researchers at MIT have developed a stretchable hydrogel bandaid, which can be embedded with electronics and respond to different skin conditions.
Researchers at MIT have developed a stretchable hydrogel bandaid, which can be embedded with electronics. This creates a smart wound dressing that is able to respond to different conditions of the skin it attaches to — and even release medicine when necessary.
The hydrogel bandaid, designed by Professor Xuanhe Zhao, is a rubbery material composed mostly of water and a small amount of biopolymers, which is able to bond with surfaces such as gold, titanium, silicon and ceramic. This enables it to carry electronics such as LED lights, temperature sensors and semiconductor chips. The flexible nature of the material means that it can be applied to any area of the body including joints such as elbows and knees.
Once applied, the bandaid can take measurements such as body temperature to discern whether or not the patient needs medicine. The electronics can be programmed to release medicine from tiny drug reservoirs in response to the body’s changes. It can even flash its LED when the medicines are running low.
We recently saw a soft thermometer sticker designed especially to be comfortable for babies. How else could electronic medical equipment be adapted to be less intrusive?