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ME+D Device Online - Nano-tech "Smart bandage" to monitor muscle activity & deliver drugs

DCN Corp® - Nano-tech "Smart bandage" to monitor muscle activity and deliver drugs. Credit - Donghee Son and Jongha LeeA team of innovative researchers from South Korea and the USA have recently developed a nanotechnology prototype device, which can monitor its wearer's muscle activity and administer medication as and when needed.  The nano-tech device could prove to be beneficial to those suffering from movement disorders such as epilepsy and/or Parkinson's disease.

Rapidly emerging "wearable systems and/or cloths that monitor muscle activity, store data, and deliver feedback therapy are the next frontier in personalised e- and mobile medicine and healthcare," - as stated by the group of researchers in the journal of Nature Nanotechnology. [1]  "However, technical challenges, such as the fabrication of high-performance, energy-efficient sensors and memory modules that are in intimate mechanical contact with soft tissues, in conjunction with controlled delivery of therapeutic agents, limit the wide-scale adoption of such systems."

The South Korea-USA researchers claim to have addressed these limitations with the assistance of nanotechnology.  The device they created is flexible, stretchable, approximately the size of a Band-Aid, and is around one millimeter thick.  Essentially built employing layers of nano-membrances and/or nanoparticles, the device's objective is to both monitor patient activity and administer medication.

The group's report stated - "the team use Silicon nano-membranes in the motion sensors, Gold nanoparticles in the non-volatile memory and Silica nanoparticles, loaded with drugs, in a thermal actuator."

Worn on the wrist of a patient, the device measures and thereafter records muscle activity.  When the recorded data indicates that medication is needed, the device delivers the appropriate dosage employing a wafer-thin internal heater.  A temperature sensor monitors this action to prevent burns during administration, according to a publication in The Japan News.

At present the prototype device has proven to be effective.  The group's report continues to state - "this platform overcomes the limitations of conventional wearable devices and has the potential to improve compliance, data quality, and the efficacy of current clinical procedures."

Currently the device relies on an external micro-processor, which could be potentially housed inside a wrist watch.  The bandage would then be attached to the watch with small wires.  As the project continues to develop, researchers hope to develop a way of making the bandage wireless and fully mobile, as published in AFP News.

Going forward, the concept of "smart bandages" capable of providing various types of monitoring and treatment options for patients continue to gain positive traction.  For example, researchers at UC-Berkeley, in April 2014, reported successful "herding" groups of cells employing electrical currents.  The development could lead to the creation of smart bandages that would both monitor and facilitate the process of wounds.  Original article available here

In summary, the above research continues to highlight the emergence and positive 'synergy' between nanotechnology and real-time theranostics treatment patterns.  Through this research highlight, DCN Corp strongly believes it can positively contribute.  Therefore, if you and/or your colleagues are interested in making the above research reality - please ensure to contact the company as soon as practicably possible.

[1] Son, D., Lee, J., Qiao, S., Ghaffari, R., Kim, J., Lee, J. E., Song, C., Kim, S. J., Lee, D. J., Jun, S. W., Yang, S., Park, M., Shin, J., Do, K., Lee, M., Kang, K., Hwang, C. S., Lu, N., Hyeon, T., and Kim, D. H.  Multi-functional wearable devices for diagnosis and therapy of movement disorders. Nature Nanotechnology 9, 397-404 (2014) Journal citation available here