While we've seen a few snazzy band-aids
in our day, not to mention talking first aid kits
, a nanofiber bandage that can heal typical skin wounds faster is about to go mainstream. University of Akron professors Daniel Smith and Darrell Reneker are growing ever closer to bringing their invention to life, as a trial just wrapped up in Columbia that they hope will "win them FDA approval
for clinical trials in the United States." The duo used electricity to spin ultrafine polymer fibers while infusing them with chemicals that open a wound to oxygen; then, the treated fibers "reduce inflammation, kill bacteria and repair slow-healing wounds faster than conventional methods," according to Smith. Moreover, the creators have already found a Minnesota-based firm willing to mass produce the nanobandages should they receive the green light, but the professors are hoping to build the new manufacturing plant in Ohio
if at all possible, and have products on retail shelves "by 2008" at the latest. Given the presumed popularity of the quick-healing bandages, the team is continuing to work on other "nanofiber products" in their spare time, hoping that the mending aid is just the beginning of a long line of sweet nano-based products to come.