Tiny electricity-generating bandages show promise for helping recovery

Piezoelectric and triboelectric dressings may help facilitate wound healing and tissue regeneration by generating electric fields.

Published Wed, Jan 19 2022 5:30 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Feb 15 2022 2:32 PM CST

A new review on the technology was published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.

Tiny electricity-generating bandages show promise for helping recovery 01 | TweakTown.com

Scientists in Taiwan reviewed the latest advances in small dressings that generate electricity, and can accelerate wound healing and tissue regeneration. In the mid-to-late 20th century, scientists found that stimulating tissue with an electric field could improve wound healing. Current research is focused on developing small patches that can achieve this without external electric equipment.

Candidate materials for these technologies are piezoelectric materials, which generate electric currents when exposed to mechanical stress. These include natural materials such as quartz, silk, wood, bone, hair, and rubber. Synthetic materials such as quartz analogs, ceramics, and polymers are also piezoelectric.

Multiple technologies have been made to test their wound-healing capabilities. One research team has used a self-powered piezoelectric nanogenerator from zinc oxide nanorods on a polydimethylsiloxane matrix. Other scientists have used a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) that generates electricity from breathing movements and TENG patches loaded with antibiotics to help treat localized infections.

"Piezoelectric and triboelectric nanogenerators are excellent candidates for self-assisted wound healing due to their light weight, flexibility, elasticity and biocompatibility. But there are still several bottlenecks to their clinical application. Our future aim is to develop cost-effective and highly efficient wound dressing systems for practical clinical applications," said bioengineer Zong-Hong Lin of the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.

You can read more from the review here.

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NEWS SOURCES:phys.org, doi.org

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