The wound dressing developed by Martin Bide, a URI professor of textiles, fashion merchandising and design, and Matthew Phaneuf, president of BioSurfaces, Ashland, Massachusetts, could be a practical solution for soldiers, as well as police officers, firefighters, hikers, rock climbers and emergency medical personnel.

According to Bide, a polyester material with polyurethane is inlayed into the structure to provide the properties of elasticity. The base material is modified chemically so that it provides anchor for protein attachment. After that step, the broad-spectrum antibiotic Cipro is incorporated into the polyester using textile dyeing technology, followed by the biologically-active agent thrombin, a pivotal enzyme in the clotting process.

"The specific protein, thrombin, kicks off the body's clotting mechanism, and while that is working, the antibiotic is moving into the wound to prevent infection,” Phaneuf said.

The product allows an injured person or emergency medical worker to apply the bioactive surface simply by pulling this bioactive bandage out of a package and applying it to the wound site. The wound dressing surface frees the soldier's hands to deal with other life-and-death issues.

Without the new dressing, the injured soldier or medics must apply direct pressure with their hands, apply clotting and anti-infection medications, and then attach a bandage. The new product developed by Bide and Phaneuf eliminates nearly all of these steps.

"We have now developed something that provides pressure to a wound and is bioactive,” Phaneuf said. Other bioactive agents could be added to a dressing to address other treatment issues, Bide said. "We have a multi-use textile with a multifaceted surface. We found a successful way to attach these chemical groups without degrading the polyester.”

MEDICA.de; Source: University of Rhode Island