Making a smarter bandage

Despite advances in modern technology, bandages haven’t changed much since the days of poultices: Apply an ointment, wrap up the injury, and change it after a while. That may change, however. As we learn more about how the body heals, how bacteria develop resistances, and how to do things on a very small scale, we’re rethinking the way we dress and treat wounds.

Consider, for example, researchers in the UK who’ve designed smart dressings that can heal wounds without making bacteria resistant. In a more low-tech example, MIT students have found a way to use suction to heal wounds faster, using only airtight wrapping and a squeeze bottle to apply negative pressure. The system is currently being tested in Haiti.

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