We’ve all seen bandages that already have antibiotic cream on them. But what about a bandage that could be “programmed” to deliver medications at a consistent rate? Biomedical engineer Dr. Elizabeth Loboa and fiber and polymer scientist Dr. Benham Pourdeyhimi are working on fibers with these properties that, when woven into bandages, could deliver drugs that promote healing and tissue regeneration.
The bandages are made of nanofibers that mimic the size scale of collagen, the dominant protein in the human body. The outside of the bandages is antibacterial; the inside is designed to deliver stem cells, collected from the patient’s fat, to injured areas and encourage speedier growth of new tissue.
“What we’re trying to create is what you can think of as a programmable bandage, essentially, for patient-specific, traumatic wounds,” Loboa said.
Loboa’s work earned her a grant from the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund. Established by Chancellor Randy Woodson in 2010, the fund offers seed money to help researchers bring marketable ideas to the marketplace.