Could this be the new Band-Aid?


Forget bandages. Researchers have developed a stretchy goop
hydrogel that could be the next Band-Aid. “The material we have developed is like a
smart skin. It is stretchable, self-healing, and has haptic
feedback, meaning it can actually feel,” said Husam N. Alshareef, Ph.D. with King Abdullah
University of Science and Technology. Researchers say the hydrogel could do much
more than a simple adhesive bandage. It’s biodegradable, so doctors could also
implant it into a patient to release drugs that promote healing. It’s just one of several advancements in wound
medicine, much of it with roots in 3D printing. “It runs a whole gamut of being sort of simple
to very complex,” said John Jackson, Ph.D. Jackson is one of hundreds of researchers
with Wake Forest’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine. They’re 3D printing entire body parts from
live cells that can be sewn into the human body. It’s called bioprinting. In Toronto, researchers have developed a handheld
3D skin printer. It can place layer after layer
of skin tissue to heal deep wounds. The entire process takes two minutes.