Scientists from Tel Aviv University (TAU) have developed a new approach to dressing wounds that consists of a soluble bandage that delivers antibiotics and then dissolves when the wound heals. The new type of bandage is spun with antibiotic-releasing fibers that protect the wound and then disappear, biodegrading and leaving little or no waste.

The antibiotics are released at a controlled pace in what is termed a 'desired release profile of antibiotics' until their job is done. In the meantime, the bandages maintain an adequate level of moisture to enable fluids to leave the damaged and infected tissue while simultaneously protecting the wound, killing bacteria and preventing infection from spreading.

The dressing mimics human skin in the way it protects the body, and is the first wound dressing that releases antibiotic drugs and biodegrades in a controlled manner, according to Professor Meital Zilberman, of the Department of Biomedical Technology at TAU and the researcher who developed the technique. The dressing could also avoid the constant wound cleaning and redressing that leads to infections.

"It solves current mechanical and physical limitations in wound-dressing techniques," said Zilberman.

In addition to reducing waste, the new technology could be particularly helpful for the treatment of severe burn victims, 70 percent of whom die from secondary bacterial infections that invade the body.