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MIT engineers use 3D printing to develop new adhesive bandages
Apr 04, 2018

A team of engineers at the Massachusetts institute of technology has developed a new bandage using 3D printing technology, which has significantly improved performance compared to traditional bandages.They are made from a special kind of rubber membrane, close to the skin, so compared with the known bandage adhesive, it provides comfort and better adhesion, but when you try to wear a knee wounds or other joints, it shows its weaknesses, such as the elbow.Like many other clever 3D printing applications, dressings are inspired by traditional Chinese paper folding, which can also be used in a variety of wearable electronics.


The materials of the MIT team have been incredibly sticky for a long time.In the test, even after 100 cycles of bending, it was proved able to hold it.The key is that the researchers cut into the slit model, similar to the cutting in origami art, which is closely related to origami.

The project began when a Chinese medical company approached the team and wondered if the rubber film it had developed could be used to repair wounds.


"Such as adhesive bandage is very common in our daily life, but when you tried to adhere to the uneven curve movement, such as elbows and knees, they usually fall off," said study researcher Zhao Ruike."It's a big problem for the company. They want us to solve it."

The film is made by 3D printing special shaped mold, the mold is filled with liquid elastomers, 3D printing technology allows in various spacing in the mould conveniently placed offset groove, and then the material and then subjected to tensile test.Team recorded the kirigami film before from the polymer surface stripping can withstand tensile capacity, the key 'energy release rate for the material provides a measured value, it would be different at different points in the test.


Experiments on different shapes of materials allowed the team to identify three main parameters that made the kirigami film cohesive.One is called shear lag, where the shear deformation of the film can reduce the strain on other parts of the membrane.There are also partial degumming, where the membrane around the opening slit is kept in combination with the lower surface.Another key aspect of the kirigami film is uneven deformation, where the film retains its overall adhesion, even though part of the surface beneath it can bend and stretch more than the others.

Using these findings, future designers try to solve adhesion problems in a similar way, using these parameters as blueprints to find the best kirigami structure in terms of location and number of cuts.The resulting kirigami films are used by medical companies as pain pads, but they can also be used for routine wound dressings and more complex products, such as wearable electronics.


"The current film is pure elastomer," rick said."We want to change the raw material to gelatin, which can directly spread the drug to the skin.This is our next step."

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