Electrical fields can control how cells move at the edges of a wound, and thus influence how well skin injuries heal. However, until now there has not been a material that is suitable for use to stimulate the cells. Now, in the SPEEDER project, the electrical engineer Dr Maria Asplund together with her research team from the BrainLinks-BrainTools Cluster of Excellence at IMTEK is developing a supercapacitive polymer. This material can store and release a particularly high amount of energy, enabling electrical fields to be maintained over an extended period of time. The researchers are planning to incorporate the material as active components in an electronic dressing: the 'SPEEDER'. In future this could be used in severe cases to speed up the healing process and prevent the wound becoming chronic. The method could also be of major significance to other fields of application, for example, in the production of artificial tissue, and in therapy with electrostimulation.
Dr. Maria Asplund
Department of Microsystems Engineering
University of Freiburg