Can a Glowing Band-Aid Treat Skin Cancer?

By Boonsri Dickinson | May 4, 2009 5:48 pm

band-aid-1.jpgIt turns out Band-Aids have more potential than simply keeping germs out of a cut—and we aren’t even talking about the Neosporin upgrades or the water-resistant kind. A U.K. company, Polymertronics, has figured out how to make Band-Aid-like bandages glow, emitting light that could treat skin cancer.

One way to kill skin cancer is to zap it with light—a method called photodynamic therapy. When a specific wavelength of light hits cancerous cells, oxygen forms around the cells until it kills them. Currently, patients must visit a hospital or clinic to receive photodynamic therapy. But the new glowing bandages, made of plasters embedded with light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), will allow skin cancer patients to treat themselves at home, making treatment faster and more accessible.

Here’s how it works:

When the OLED-filled strip is placed on the skin with a topical photosensitive cream, voltage is applied from an external power source, causing the OLEDs to light up, and the treatment begins.

The company hopes to bring this device to market in a few years — but first it must first undergo human trials. (Any volunteers?)

Related Content:
80beats: Ovarian Cancer Screening
DISCOVER: Drugs That Target Cancer
DISCOVER: McCain’s Melanoma

Image: Polymertronics Limited

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
  • Christina Viering

    What a breakthrough!

  • http://www.oled-info.com/ Ron Mertens

    There is another company working on the same basic idea, called Lumicure:

    http://www.oled-info.com/lumicure

    Ron

  • Rex

    A promising, innovtive approach. Do you need a US scientists to be involved over here in the US with aspects of development? Contact me. Rex, PhD

  • Michael C

    Why a small band aid?

    If you really had skin cancer – you would apply that to your whole body. After all – you will want to get every spot not just the one identified cyst.

    I think that the “lite-suit” is going to be the next step.

  • Larry Gillihan

    Aspirn will remove skin lesions. Takes about a week, depending on the depth of the offending spot. I’ve tried it, and it works, and a skin cancer doctor has confirmed that it will work. Aspirin is an acid, and, kept moist, it burns the lesion off, a layer at a time. It’s a lot cheaper than the usual treatments, and works as well or better.

  • http://www.aidcredit.com aid credit

    Nice post! Very complete and detail information. That

  • http://hubpages.com/hub/What-Does-Skin-Cancer-Look-Like Roland Gilead

    It’s nice to know that you guys are helping educate the world about cancer. Thanks for the post.

  • DarkScribe

    It is not new. It was considered an “alternative” whacko type therapy for years. Johanna Budwig was nominated for a Nobel Prize several times in the nineteen fifties for curing cancer in numerous people by stimulating the oxygen transportation capability of her patients. I used her techniques several years ago after medical surgical pharmaceutical approaches failed. It worked swiftly and effectively. I am healthier and fitter than ever and tumor-free.

  • http://www.geographicaltongue.net/ geographic tongue

    Praise you for taking the time to discuss this, I feel greatly about it and love learning more on this topic. If it is possible, as you gain expertise, would you update your web blog with more information? It’s extremely helpful for me.

  • http://www.geographicaltongue.net/ geographic tongue treatment

    Lol this article makes remember me of very funny thing my lad did, he walked on to wet hanckerchief, shout “homoo” and slipped… + food tray flew to plouse of by stander, this happened at our work hehe…

    Well story short, you’v written quite nice post, makes me smile.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Discoblog

Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »