It’s a sight that can make even the toughest, grizzliest man cringe. If you’ve had an injury that required a bandage, you just know it’s going to sting when you take it off after a few days. Everyone has his or her own ritual, whether it’s peeling it away slowly, resulting in prolonged but tolerable discomfort, or yanking it off in one fell swoop to get it over with even though it hurts like a, well, you know. But those stories might become one of those things you end up telling your grandchildren about, as the future could lead to bandages that are safer, more durable, and, yes, pain-free.
Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have pioneered a new adhesive technology in which the bandage sticks to itself instead of the skin, making it easy and seamless to remove. It may not be the most amazing medical breakthrough, but it could solve legitimate concerns.
It uses a three-layer design and was inspired by a process called anisotropy. The technology is similar to a phenomenon in natural elements like wood, where the level of force differs depending on which way the force is applied. The new bandage is able to create that same kind of behavior, so if it is removed correctly, it comes off with no damage to the skin.
While this would be an instant hit for a well-known company like Johnson & Johnson to put on store shelves, its primary purpose is actually for the treatment of newborns. With all the tubes and monitors that are attached to infants, there are very real concerns about badly damaging their skin with the removal of harsh adhesive bandages. This new kind of bandage would almost completely eliminate that concern.
Clinical trials are expected to start within the next few months. If successful, you might be able to buy your own pain-free bandages in drug stores in the next year or so.
via ABC News