How Could Smart Bandages Revolutionize Wound Care?

The presence of bandages made from gauze or cotton wool for the treatment of wounds is considered a standard supply for every home, hospital and first aid kit.

Wound healing

Wound healing. Image Credit: Tong Stocker/Shutterstock.com

Today, these familiar materials are being replaced by modern bandages of a new generation, which are made from natural and synthetic materials that have unique wound healing properties.

Thanks to the achievements of modern medicine, the process of treating wounds of various natures has become faster and more efficient. For correct treatment, an approach is used that combines drug treatment, antibiotic therapy and, if necessary, surgical repair of tissue connections (suturing).

The choice of approach depends on the degree of damage, localization and nature of the wound.

There are wounds that occur because of metabolic disorders or prolonged bed rest. This type of wound can include, for example, bedsores, trophic ulcers, or diabetic foot ulcers.

For wounds associated with mechanical damage as a result of external influences (for example, burns, postoperative wounds), the treatment process will be associated with the restoration of the anatomical integrity of tissues and often treatment is associated with surgical intervention.

The utility of smart bandages

The use of smart bandages or ‘modern dressings’ helps not only reduce the period of treatment of patients but also to make it more comfortable and convenient.

This medical asset creates the right conditions for dynamic and complex wounds to heal quicker, and safer. With advances in technology, many wound dressings have been developed to treat different types of wounds, targeting different aspects of the healing process.

Specific guidelines needed for smart bandages:

  • Reduces permeability to wounds and does not leave fibers in them
  • Maintains an adequate level of moisture in the wound necessary for healing
  • Does not interfere with air circulation
  • Effectively removes excess exudate
  • Prevents infection and further bleeding

Smart bandages facilitate the process of caring for the elderly and seriously ill people who are bedridden. Smart bandages are successfully used both for inpatient treatment and for the treatment of minor household injuries at home and on trips.

Regardless of the cause of the wound, the healing process goes through several stages:

  • Stage 1: Cleansing

In the first stage, the wound is cleansed, and the inflammatory process begins by swelling, redness of the skin, and contribution to the separation of dead tissue. There is also a release of wound exudate.

  • Stage 2: Granulation

At the second stage, with a decrease in the amount of wound discharge, the formation of foci of granulation occurs - foci of division of epithelial cells. During this phase, it is important to maintain a moist environment, as damaged areas of the skin are easily injured and sensitive to drying out.

  • Stage 3: Epithelization

In the stage of epithelialization, the wound closes, scar formation occurs, the amount of wound discharge is either absent or minimal. Significant secretions may be present only if the wound becomes infected or the skin surface is injured.

Treating wounds

Surgical debridement is still the leading method of wound treatment. However, due to a variety of reasons, surgical debridement does not always allow the complete removal of all infected and necrotic tissues.

Therefore, the tasks of further cleansing the wound from non-viable tissues and combating wound infection have traditionally been assigned by surgeons to local treatment agents.

In addition, due to various reasons, in some patients, wounds are treated only conservatively and for a long time. In this case, the tactic of local conservative wound therapy is the only possibility and plays a leading role.

Nowadays, with the advent of technologically new and more advanced means of non-surgical debridement of the wound, which have significant clinical advantages, the emphasis in the treatment of wounds is shifting from the indispensable radical surgical debridement towards a non-surgical approach.

Wound healing

Wound healing. Image Credit: Bangkoker/Shutterstock.com

Revolutionizing wound care

The tactic of sparing surgical interventions with a justified approach is now becoming acceptable due to the possibility of effective postoperative wound management using smart bandages.

There are areas of the body that are categorically unsuitable for surgical treatment due to the high probability of injury to superficial nerves and blood vessels including the face, the front surface of the neck, to a lesser extent - the axillary and inguinal regions.

In these cases, all local treatment is often reduced to conservative therapy using bandages which modern innovations can effectively realize their therapeutic potential.

Smart bandages can stimulate the wound process, by creating and maintaining a balanced wound environment and allowing not only postoperative but also the independent conservative treatment of infected and purulent-necrotic wounds until complete epithelization.

Thanks to the efficiency and ease of use of modern medical devices, as well as their significant economic advantages over traditional treatments, the use of such dressings has become a ubiquitous method of treating chronic wounds.

Furthermore, at present, significant advances in the study of the molecular biology of wound processes have made it possible to significantly increase the clinical effectiveness of both the compresses themselves and the local treatment of wounds in general.

References

  • Aderibigbe B. A., Buyana B. (2018). Alginate in wound dressings. Pharmaceutics.
  • Ahangar P., Woodward M., Cowin A. (2018). Advanced wound therapies. 
  • Morton LM, Phillips TJ (April 2016). "Wound healing and treating wounds: Differential diagnosis and evaluation of chronic wounds". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Shi C., Wang C., Liu H., Li Q., Li R., Zhang Y., Liu Y., Shao Y., Wang J. (2020). Selection of Appropriate Wound Dressing for Various Wounds. Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2022

Dmitry Dorofeev

Written by

Dmitry Dorofeev

After completing his bachelor’s degree in market research and psychology in 2019 in New Zealand and Germany, Dmitry moved to London to pursue a career within the healthcare sector to oversee research projects in science and medicine, with a focus on how innovative technologies help drive and shape this industry.

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