Soon there could be a day when the adhesive bandage used to cover the cut or a wound will come with built-in temperature sensors, drug-delivery channels, LED lights and other electronics. A team of MIT engineers is going to make it a reality.
Xuanhe Zhao and Robert Noyce have conducted a study and designed futuristic Band-Aid. The band-aid has a hydrogel which can contain LEDs and temperature sensors fixed into its structure.
In hyrdogel, an array of LED lights was set in and on getting attached to body, including while it was deformed and stretched around parts like the elbow and knee, the lights kept on working. This is the motivation for stretchable hydrogel electronics. Zhao said that they are generally used as degradable biomaterials at the preset stage.
As per Zhao, the team faced 2 major challenges while developing its hydrogel, which refers to mechanical strength and capability to stick to porous areas.
Zhao added, “Since the hydrogel contains over 90% water, the bonding may be regarded as a water adhesive, which is tougher than natural glues, such as in barnacles and mussels, and bio-inspired underwater glues”.
The stiffness was similar to human tissue’s stiffness. The researchers also came out with an idea to strongly bond the hydrogel to different nonporous areas. Insertion of microelectronics in the stretchable hydrogel could ultimately allow medical researchers to safely use it in human body besides using it on the skin for different applications.
During tests, the team discovered that they may stretch the encapsulated wire a number of times while it held its electrical conductivity.