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‘Smart’ Bandages Created
June 1, 2008

Ray Winton has no medical degree and no experience in the medical field, but the electrical engineering researcher’s invention could conceivably lead to the next generation of “smart” adhesive bandage.

A faculty member at Mississippi State University, Prof. Winton has created technology which is in the early stages of becoming what could help many people fearful of needles and allow medical professionals to gauge cholesterol, insulin and blood chemistry by simply applying a bandage.

Prof. Winton said his “smart” adhesive bandages can add an easier way for clinicians to make medical diagnostics. With his invention, the bandage can determine internal chemistry and other essential elements of determining critical information without breaking the skin.

“You put it on somebody and it reads information,” Prof. Winton said. “It can read parts of people’s biochemistry through their skin.”

With one patent associated with his research and another in the works, Prof. Winton expects it will be another year or two before his technology is ready for the marketplace. He said his research associated with “smart” bandages and other types of products dates back about four years. His research may also lead to increasing the life of cell phone battery charges.

The key behind Prof. Winton’s adhesive bandages is they don’t need a battery or other onboard power source. The power source used for tiny integrated circuits to detect information like cholesterol comes from picking up radio-frequency power by an antenna, making the power source virtually infinite.

After sensors detect specific information, the adhesive bandages can be read to indicate medical diagnostics. Although he continues to refine the process to read the tiny sensors,

Prof. Winton said it may take a few hours to read information on the bandages. Prof. Winton’s idea can stretch into other fields too. He and other business partners continue to explore options with cell phone chipset companies to triple phone battery charges.

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