NASA has developed a new high-tech material that uses electricity to significantly promote healing of injured wounds.
In conditions of non-Earth gravity, human blood displays behaviour quite different from that on Earth.
Wounds are likely to heal much more slowly and considering the survival risks and the cost of space missions, healing wounds as fast as possible is crucial.
The new material generates a small amount of electricity when interacting with another surface, including human skin.
The material, called polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), has numerous possible applications, including wound healing.
It is proven that wounds tend to heal much more quickly if small amounts of electricity are applied to the surrounding tissue. However, the gauze pattern is also essential to the healing process.
If the PVDF fibres are aligned correctly, cells on a wound use it as a scaffold, helping the wound to heal faster, said Emilie Siochi, a senior materials scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Centre.
The easiest way to align the fibres is to make gauze which also creates an additional layer of protection against infection, Sputnik News reported.
The invention is a “simple and inexpensive means of producing fibres and mats of controlled fibre diameter, porosity, and thickness,” NASA said.
The device can also be used by military personnel wounded in the field, patients who have undergone surgery and even those who have suffered a serious wound.