MIT’s got an interest in wearable technology with the creation of a “smart Band-Aid,” a flexible, adhesive hydrogel that can carry health sensors and monitor a patient’s condition. With a reservoir in the gel, the dressing can also deliver medication and warn when the medication level getting low.
Researchers think one of the first uses for the hydrogel — which is 90 percent water — will be with burn patients, but it will have a much wider application, depending on what electronic components are incorporated in the gel.
“It’s a very versatile matrix,” said Hyunwoo Yuk, a co-author of the original paper. “The unique capability here is, when a sensor senses something different, like an abnormal increase in temperature, the device can on demand release drugs to that specific location and select a specific drug from one of the reservoirs, which can diffuse in the hydrogel matrix for sustained release over time.”