Thursday, February 15, 2018 by Frances Bloomfield
A liquid skin bandage has been approved for licensing and sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Known as ElaSkin, the biopolymer liquid bandage is the first commercial product by the biomaterials and medical device start-up, Aleo BME. ElaSkin possesses a variety of characteristics that help make it a “best-in class technology,” said CEO Chao Liu. Among these are its quick drying, simple and clean removal, elasticity, transparency, and durability against bacteria. These are on top of its strength and sturdiness, and the level of comfort that it can provide.
All of these and several other qualities have helped make it a true innovation as a liquid bandage. So much so that Liu has said that ElaSkin has the potential for applications outside of the medical. “We’ve found a lot of uses for this science, but the breadth and growth of the wound care market makes it a great place to start,” stated Liu. (Related: New “smart” bandages will dramatically cut healing time for wounds in chronic patients.)
The inspiration behind ElaSkin originated from two unlikely sources: mussels and ivy. Mussels secrete their own natural adhesives that help anchor them to underwater surfaces. Ivy, on the other hand, possess tendrils that exude a yellow liquid that allows them to latch on tightly to buildings. These mechanisms galvanized the creation of “biocompatible adhesives” capable of protecting delicate and moist tissues.
Currently, Aleo BME is seeking out companies to partner up with for the scaling and distribution of ElaSkin. Regardless, Liu and his team plan on releasing it within this year or by 2019. ElaSkin will then be available as an over-the-counter and prescription medical device.
Following this, Aleo BME hopes to secure clearance for its topical adhesive and dental adhesive as well.
While still not as widespread as traditional adhesives, liquid bandages have already demonstrated a number of benefits that one can’t achieve with conventional bandages. The most notable of these is their ability to stop bleeding within seconds.
That’s an attribute that researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Hong Kong uncovered way back in 2006. “We have found a way to stop bleeding, in less than 15 seconds, that could revolutionize bleeding control,” said lead author Rutledge Ellis-Behnke.
Once applied to an open wound, the peptides in the liquid bandage self-assemble to seal the wound and stop all bleeding. These peptides then break down in time to become amino acids that contribute to tissue repair. Using hamsters and rats, the researchers discovered that their liquid bandage could be applied to skin, spinal cord and intestinal tissue, the liver, and the brain.
“In almost every one of the cases, we were able to immediately stop the bleeding,” stated Ellis-Behnke, before adding that the bandage could be especially useful during surgery. “The time to perform an operation could potentially be reduced by up to 50 percent.”
Although no further developments have been released, the team’s work has shown that there is indeed a future for liquid bandages.
Visit HealthCoverage.news to read up on more breakthroughs and studies in the field of medicine.