Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Nano Bandage

PostedMarch 25, 2007

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins:  Years ago Shuguang Zhang, an MIT bioengineer, discovered what he thought was an interesting phenomenon…protein fragments that self-assemble into a web of microscopic fibers.  

Shuguang Zhang:  When you expose it to salt, that's when it becomes a gel quickly.

Randy Atkins:  Since blood is salty, it’s no longer just a curiosity.  Tests in animals show the gel gently seals a wound in less than 15 seconds, creating a protective cover — inside or outside the body.  Researchers say it promotes healing and prevents scarring.

Shuguang Zhang:  Cells actually can use this material as food.

Randy Atkins:  The chemical can be applied as a liquid, gel, or in power form on bandages.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.