A bandage developed by scientists at Harvard Medical School, MIT and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln can be loaded with multiple medications that can be released via smartphone or other wireless devices.
Electrically conductive fibers in the bandage are coated with a gel that is preloaded with medications such as antibiotics or painkillers, notes a news release from the University of Nebraska. A postage stamp-size controller sends a low-voltage signal through a selected fiber, heating the fiber and the gel and releasing the desired medication. The bandage allows for precise dosing and delivery scheduling.
“This is the first bandage that is capable of dose-dependent drug release,” says Ali Tamayol, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Nebraska. “You can release multiple drugs with different release profiles.”
While further animal and human tests are needed, the bandage could prove useful for wounded soldiers and people with diabetes-related skin wounds, according to researchers.
The findings appeared in Advanced Functional Materials.
Remedē System for Central Sleep Apnea
Respicardia has gained FDA approval for the Remedē System, an implantable device designed to improve breathing patterns and enhance cardiovascular health among people who have moderate to severe central sleep apnea.
During sleep, the device activates automatically, sending electrical pulses to one of the phrenic nerves that ordinarily deliver signals from the brain to the diaphragm to stimulate breathing. The brain fails to properly send those signals in people with central sleep apnea.
A portable tablet programmer lets physicians monitor information gathered by the system and noninvasively alter the settings if needed.
The device can improve oxygenation and sleep, as well as reduce activation of the sympathetic nervous system, according to the Minnesota-based company. Research shows that after six months of using the Remedē System, more than half of 141 patients studied experienced a 50 percent or greater reduction in apnea hypopnea index, which gauges the severity and frequency of apnea episodes.
Biosensitive Tattoo Ink
Tattoos may one day alert people with diseases such as diabetes about changes in their condition.
A biosensitive ink developed by researchers at Harvard Medical School and MIT’s Media Lab incorporates standard tattoo artistry, the Harvard Gazette reports.
The ink changes color in response to conditions such as dehydration or a rise in blood sugar. The change is based on “the chemistry of the body’s interstitial fluid, which can be used as a surrogate for constituents in the blood,” the article explains. The ink can be made invisible except under certain lighting, including that of a smartphone.
The goal is to overcome drawbacks, such as limited battery life, that affect existing biomedical monitoring devices.
The ink will require additional refinements, including stabilization so that the designs do not fade, according to Nan Jiang, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.