Scientists take the pain out of plasters

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The Independent Online
SCIENTISTS HAVE invented a sticking plaster that can be removed painlessly.

The team at Smith & Nephew's group research Centre, in York, altered the chemical ingredients of the adhesive so that it lost 90 per cent of its stickiness under bright light, such as a torch or a light bulb.

The invention won the team, led by Dr Ian Webster, the Royal Society of Chemistry's 1998 Innovation Team Award, and a pounds 3,500 cheque.

The new type of plaster has two layers, the top one preventing light from reaching the bottom layer until desired. The scientists rejected the idea of using heat or water to reduce stickiness because the change could be triggered by sitting near a radiator or being caught in the rain.

The judges said the plaster "enables dressings to be easily removed, causing as little trauma or pain as possible".

Dr Webster said: "The award is a credit to the creativity, hard work, drive and enthusiasm of the whole team."

It is not known when the plaster will be on the market.

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