A Current View of Functional Biomaterials for Wound Care, Molecular and Cellular Therapies
Current methods in treating chronic wounds have had limited success in large part due to the open loop nature of the treatment. We have created a localized 3D-printed smart wound dressing platform that will allow for real-time data acquisition of oxygen concentration, which is an important indicator of wound healing. This will serve as the first leg of a feedback loop for a fully optimized treatment mechanism tailored to the individual patient. A flexible oxygen sensor was designed and fabricated with high sensitivity and linear current output. With a series of off-the-shelf electronic components including a programmable-gain analog front-end, a microcontroller and wireless radio, an integrated electronic system with data readout and wireless transmission capabilities was assembled in a compact package. Using an elastomeric material, a bandage with exceptional flexibility and tensile strength was 3D-printed. The bandage contains cavities for both the oxygen sensor and the electronic systems, with contacts interfacing the two systems. Our integrated, flexible platform is the first step toward providing a self-operating, highly optimized remote therapy for chronic wounds.