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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011;2011:298-301. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6090078.

A wearable stimulation bandage for electrotherapy studies in a rat ischemic wound model.

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Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


The clinical efficacy of electro-therapy in the treatment of chronic wounds is currently debated, and a in-vivo evaluation of stimulation parameters will provide the statistical evidence needed to direct clinical guidelines. A low-cost, wearable electrical stimulation bandage has been developed for use with an established rat ischemic wound model. The bandage consists of a user-programmable stimulator PCB and a plastic bandage with two hydrogel electrodes. The battery-powered bandage may be used for up to seven days between dressing changes, and the stimulator may be reused. The microcontroller-based stimulator uses a boost converter circuit to generate pulses up to 90 V from a 3 V coin cell battery. Consistent operation of the boost converter over the wide input and output voltage ranges is achieved using voltage feedforward and soft-start techniques implemented in firmware. The bandages are laser-cut to shape, and electrical traces are applied using stencils and conductive nickel paint. Both the PCB and electrical traces are encapsulated to protect the animal. The device has been successfully demonstrated using the rat ischemic wound model for a period of seven days, and clinical experiments are ongoing.

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