While Wound Source estimated that there are over 6,000 types of wound care dressings, the steep number doesn’t stop researchers from testing products for more advanced dressings. Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently developed a new low-cost wound dressing designed to accelerate wound healing.

Here are the details on this innovative wound dressing:

How does this wound dressing work?

While electricity can be beneficial for skin healing, most electrotherapy products require bulky equipment and complex wiring. This new dressing leverages the power of electrical pulses for healing, but is in the form of a traditional bandage, making it a much simpler and convenient form of wound treatment.

The dressing requires the patient to wear a band on their torso, which sends low-intensity electric pulses to the bandage covering the wound. The patient’s natural breathing movements activate the pulses, which mimic the way our bodies naturally generate internal electric fields. Additionally, the lower intensity of these bandages compared to current electrotherapy products mean the dressing is less likely to harm healthy tissues.

“The new dressing reduced healing times to three days.”

Where’s the proof?

The researchers tested the new dressing on rodents and found that it reduced healing times to three days, which is significantly faster than the normal healing period of two weeks. The accelerated recovery rate even surprised the research team.

“The impressive results in this study represent an exciting new spin on electrical stimulation for many different wound types, given the simplicity of the design,” explained collaborator Angela Gibson, professor of surgery at UW-Madison and burn surgeon and director of wound healing services at UW Health.

What’s next?

The researchers plan to test the new dressing on pig skin, which is more similar than rats are to human tissue. Their next steps also involve tweaking the product to perfect the electric pulses.

If successful, the result could be the “most effective electrical stimulation approach for many therapeutic purposes,” according to Xudong Wang, professor of materials science and engineering at UW-Madison. The researchers further expect the final dressing to be as affordable as regular bandages.

Whether they’re the latest and the greatest or more traditional wound care dressings, smartPAC by Advanced Tissue is the smarter way to get prescribed supplies delivered directly to your home. We’ll send you single-dose packets as well as step-by-step video tutorials to help you manage your dressing changes.