May 11, 2012
Recently, researchers at University of Illinois have developed a bandage that can promote angiogenesis and direct blood vessel growth on the surface of a wound. The bandage, called a "smart bandage", contains living cells that deliver growth factors to damaged tissues in a defined pattern.
The bandage is 1 centimeter across and is built of layers of a hydrogel made of polyethylene glycol and methacrylic alginate on a 3D printer.
polyethylene glycol: an FDA-approved polymer used in laxatives and pharmaceuticals
methacrylic alginate: an edible, Jell-O-like material
Several experiments are conducted on the surface of a chicken embryo. After a week the stamp was removed, it appears that the network of new blood vessels mirrors the patterns of the channels of the bandage.
(After the bandage is removed its pattern is revealed in the pattern of blood vessels. | Photo credit Micro and Nanotechnology Lab)
There are many potential applications for this smart bandage including directing the growth of blood vessels around a blocked artery, or normalizing blood vessels that feed a tumor to improve the delivery of anti-cancer drugs etc.
Enhancing the growth of new blood vessels in a coordinated pattern after surgery may also reduce recovery time and lessen the amount of scar tissue, the researchers said.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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