Scientists from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia have developed a bandage that “suck out” bacteria from wounds. Normally, bandages keep the bacteria in the outside world from entering wounds – now, the new one will also remove those that have already found their way into the cut. The findings are available on Applied Materials & Interfaces.
A mesh of polymer filaments, created using a technique called electrospinning, make up the bandage. Each strand thereof is 100 times thinner than a human hair.
Researchers tested the material using bacteria known to be involved in chronic wound infection, namely the Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
When bandages of different strand-widths were tested with S. aureus, the latter were found to attach to fibres smaller than their individual bacterial cells with less success. As for the E. coli, they would stick to fibres coated with allylamine rapidly, while they would not adhere to acrylic-acid-coated ones.
Some results of part of the research have not been published though: the last phase of the analysis involving testing on skin models are not yet revealed.
The bandage is thought to be a promising invention for patients with compromised immunity. It is hoped that it will lower the risk of infection in vulnerable patients.
“For most people, wounds heal quickly. But for some people, the repair process gets stuck, and so wounds take much longer to heal. This makes them vulnerable to infection,” Martina Abrigo, an author of the study, said in a statement. “We hope this work will lead to smart wound dressings that could prevent infections. Doctors could put a nanomesh dressing on a wound and simply peel it off to get rid of the germs.”