Wirelessly-powered ‘smart bandage’ could provide drug-free wound care


A new generation of wirelessly-powered, environmentally-friendly ‘smart bandages’ could help patients with non-healing wounds avoid infections, scientists say. The bandage could help improve the quality of life of people who live with chronic non-healing wounds, which currently frequently require painful cleaning and treatment. Non-healing wounds can be a side effect of certain medications or health factors like diabetes, cancer or damaged blood vessels. The smart bandage is built on technology initially developed by Dr Mahmoud Wagih of the James Watt School of Engineering and his colleagues from the University of Southampton. The research is showcased in a second paper, recently published in IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. The paper demonstrates the first use of magnetic-resonant wireless power transfer to provide electricity to standard textiles using embroidery or screen printing – a feature which helped to make the smart bandage possible. In this case, the power was supplied to a newly-developed flexible electronic resistor made from silver and carbon which was printed into a textile surface to act as a wearable heating element. The system was capable of being heated to up to 60◦C while separated from the transmitter by 2cm at an efficiency exceeding 50%.