Wrapping wound dressings around fingers and toes can be
tricky, but for burn victims, guarding them against infection is critical.
With this in mind, scientists at Tokai University in
Japan have developed a ultrathin coatings called nanosheets that can cling to
the body's most difficult-to-protect contours and keep bacteria at bay.
Dr. Yosuke Okamura said that the nanosheets could adhere not
only to flat surfaces, but also to uneven and irregular surfaces without adding
The material is made out of nanosheets of a biodegradable
polyester called poly (L-lactic acid), or PLLA. These are basically spun in a blender with water to break
them up into tiny pieces, resulting in a nanosheet shake.
This liquid is then poured onto a flat surface and allowed
to dry. The final ultra flexible product is a nanosheet itself, but composed of
patches of nanosheet fragments. At the National Meeting & Exposition of the American
Chemical Society, the team reported on testing the material on the toes of
They showed that the substance coats even the tiniest flaps
and bumps on the skin, and once dryed, it clung to the skin securely in place.
Moreover, testing on real wounds, they demonstrated that the new material kept
out the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria that often cause infections.
Scientists notes that the material, if eventually
approved for human patients, could cut down the number of times dressings have
to be changed