According to researchers, new bandages developed by US researchers take an active part in the healing process. Experiments in mice show that hydrogel bandages speed up healing.They look like thin clear plastic when dry, but expand six times and become pliable when wet. Unlike regular bandages, which just keep moisture in and germs out, the hydrogel dressings actually penetrate the wound and enhance the healing process.
The researchers believe that the bandages will be applicable to diabetic ulcers, burns, surgical incisions and other wounds in humans. They could be especially useful in older people, where healing can be quite slow. In the mice, the dressings accelerated healing in the outer layer of the skin by 33 per cent. Deeper wounds healed in an impressive five to seven days. It's hoped that human trials of the hydrogel dressings will start early next year.