Researchers have discovered that using ultrasound waves and bubbles, they can control the stickiness of adhesive bandages. This discovery could pave the way for new advances in medical adhesives, particularly in situations where adhesives are difficult to apply, such as on wet skin.
The findings of the research were published in the journal 'Science'.
"Bandages, glues, and stickers are common bioadhesives that are used at home or in clinics. However, they don't usually adhere well to wet skin. It's also challenging to control where they are applied and the strength and duration of the formed adhesion," said McGill University Professor Jianyu Li, who led the research team of engineers, physicists, chemists, and clinicians.
"We were surprised to find that by simply playing around with ultrasonic intensity, we can control very precisely the stickiness of adhesive bandages on many tissues," said lead author Zhenwei Ma, a former student of Professor Li and now a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia.
In collaboration with physicists Professor Outi Supponen and Claire Bourquard from the Institute of Fluid Dynamics at ETH Zurich, the team experimented with ultrasound-induced microbubbles to make adhesives stickier. "The ultrasound induces many microbubbles, which transiently push the adhesives into the skin for stronger adhesion," said Professor Supponen. "We can even use theoretical modelling to estimate exactly where the adhesion will happen."
Their study, published in the journal Science, shows that the adhesives are compatible with living tissue in rats. The adhesives can also potentially be used to deliver drugs through the skin. "This paradigm-shifting technology will have great implications in many branches of medicine," said University of British Columbia Professor Zu-Hua Gao. "We're very excited to translate this technology for applications in clinics for tissue repair, cancer therapy, and precision medicine."
"By merging mechanics, materials and biomedical engineering, we envision the broad impact of our bioadhesive technology in wearable devices, wound management, and regenerative medicine," said Professor Li, who is also a Canada Research Chair in Biomaterials and Musculoskeletal Health. (ANI)