The field of medicine is developing all the time in huge leaps and bounds; it never fails to amaze me. A couple of months ago a new type of bandage was developed that would significantly improve the healing of wounds. This bandage, which is being developed at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, is made out of a nanofibre mesh that attracts bacteria. The hope is that this bandage will draw the bacteria out of the wound itself, thus enabling the wound to heal much faster.
So far, the bandage has been tested on bacteria colonies and engineered skin models in the lab, so it hasn’t actually been used on real human skin yet. However, the results of these tests look promising! One test involved the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium, which is frequently found on the skin and is known to cause severe wound infections. During this test, researchers discovered that the bacteria was successfully able to bind to the mesh of the bandage.
Even though these bandages would probably not be used for your every day, bog standard wound, this exciting new discovery still has some pretty amazing applications. Patients with compromised immune systems, for example people with AIDS, diabetes, severe burns, or cancer, could really benefit from the bacteria sucking capabilities of the bandage. In these patients, wounds take a lot longer to heal because their immune response is limited, thus making them more susceptible to developing infections. This type of bandage, therefore, could dramatically reduce their chance of infection!
The next step, then, is to test these bandages on actual human wounds to ensure that they are safe to use. Once safety has been established we can then use these bacteria busting bandages to improve the health of many lives around the world.