Thursday, May 03, 2012

Bandages Made of Edible Starch

Bandages Made of Edible Starch Could Dissolve On Your Skin Once You're Healed

Finely spun starch fibers woven into a bandage could dissolve on your skin and be absorbed by your body, eliminating thesting and hassle of ripping it off in one fast motion. Starch fibers could also be used to produce toilet paper, napkins and other biodegradable products, according to researchers at Penn State.
Food researchers dissolved starch into a fluid, then spun it into long strands that can be woven into mats, according toa university news release. Anyone who has ever dissolved starch in water knows it can have some awesome physical properties , but the resulting thick paste is not that useful beyond a fun experiment or maybe thickening some soup.
To spin it into thin threads, the Penn Stateresearchers added a solvent to help the starch break down more readily. The solvent allowed it to maintain its molecular structure, and the researchers used an electrospinning device to spin thematerial into long strands. The fibers could then be woven like any other fiber into a wide range of materials, from bandages to paper.
If they're used as a bandage, the starch fibers could simply degrade into glucose after some time and be absorbed by the body, according to grad student Lingyan Kong, who led this research. No more ripping off a Band-Aid. The fibers could serve other functions where other polymers, like cellulose or petroleum-based plastics, are typically used.
The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and now the Penn State team is applying for a patent.

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