In future, bandages for elbows and knees can be fabricated from a new lightweight, slender, rubber-like film, as per the US engineers responsible for the advance. They stated their adhesive film can attach to extremely deformable areas of the body, for instance, the elbow and knee, and retain its clasp even after 100 bending episodes.
The key to the clinginess of the film is a slits’ pattern that the team has cuts into the film—that are analogous to the cuts created in the very old paper-folding art type kirigami. It’s a variant of more well-known origami that embraces paper cutting, instead of only folding up the paper.
The MIT team mentioned that the cuts made onto film not only widen but also improved hold, as they let go the stress that would otherwise result in the intact film to strip away. To exhibit the likely uses, the team made a kirigami-patterned adhesive dressing along with a heat pad comprising a kirigami film yarned with heating wires.
By applying a power supply of 3 V, the pad preserved a stable temperature of 100°F. Also, the team has developed a wearable electronic film equipped with light-emitting diodes. All the 3 films can work and attach to the skin, they said, even after 100 knee bends.
Scientist Dr Ruike Zhao stated the kirigami-patterned adhesives might allow a complete range of products, from daily medical dressings to soft electronics and wearable. Dr Zhao mentioned, “Adhesives such as these dressing are used frequently in our daily life; however when you attempt to fix them to areas that meet huge, inhomogeneous bending moves, such as knees and elbows, they generally detach.
She further said, “In most instances, people create cuts to make it bendable. However, we’re the foremost team to discover, with a methodical mechanism research, that a kirigami design can enhance adhesion of the material.”