If salamanders lose a limb, it grows back. For people with chronic wounds, however, things aren’t quite so simple.
Such wounds not only heal slowly, but require regular oxygen treatment, disinfection and the biofilm to be painfully sliced off.
Which is why an assistant professor in the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University has developed a plaster made from polymer composite.
The invention consists of several microneedles, which penetrate the layer of biofilm present in chronic wounds and absorb the fluid underneath it.
The needles then dissolve, releasing antibiotics to treat the wound – meaning the biofilm doesn’t need to be removed.
The whole process takes less than five minutes. As in previous innovations, the nerves remain unaffected.