Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nano-spike Bandages

Bandages with skin-spiking grip.
  (+32, -4)(+32, -4)(+32, -4)
(+32, -4)
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Nano-spike Bandages look similar to popular brands of first-aid bandages, such as Band-Aid, but have thousands of little spikes in place of the usual adhesive. The spikes are only long enough to penetrate the outer layer of skin, where there are no nerve endings. The spikes are oriented at an angle, pointing toward the center pad of the bandage.

The bandages are applied by pressing one end of the bandage onto the skin, and applying tension while placing the other end on the skin. The pull of the bandage material keeps the spikes lodged in the skin. Removing tension allows the bandage to be removed.

The nano-spikes are manufactured using techniques similar to those used in the construction of light sandpaper and Velcro. The spikes are not made by nanobots. They are somewhat similar to sharkskin. The spikes can be made with slight barbs if better adhesion to the skin is needed.

Nano-spike bandages can be applied to wet skin, and are useful for pulling wounds closed. They will detach as the skin is naturally shed, after a few days. They can also be used by medical professionals for tissue where skin is not present.

baconbrain, Apr 07 2006

Nematocysts http://images.googl...atocyst&sa=N&tab=wi
[bungston, Apr 07 2006]

US2005137531 http://v3.espacenet...DX=US2005137531&F=0
Devices and methods for enhanced microneedle penetration of biological barriers [xaviergisz, Apr 08 2006]

Skin Crack Skin_20Crack
More nanofibers in skin [mylodon, Aug 02 2008]

Synthetic Setae http://en.wikipedia...iki/Synthetic_setae
A wikipedia article about a synthetic version of Gecko pads [talldave, Aug 03 2008]

[link]






       //penetrate the outer layer of skin, where there are no nerve endings// are you sure? yikes...   

       velcro plasters?
po, Apr 07 2006
  

       "Don't worry honey i'll pop into the shower now i just have to take off my bandaid" "don't forget to take the ten ......"ARGH!!!"
robbie the rocker, Apr 07 2006
  

       You had me until you fired the nanobots. They will get restless if not put to work.   

       But seriously - this is really a first rate idea. One could use spike structures similar to the nematocysts on sea anemones, which can penetrate the outer layer of skin but not all the way into the inner.   

       Such banadages would also be useful for industrial / commercial uses involving oily or greasy objects which must be closely apposed. Regular adhesive tape does not work well for this.
bungston, Apr 07 2006
  

       Do you actually need spikes? Once things get very small, they tend to attract other things through van der Waals forces (see under geckos feet).
DrCurry, Apr 07 2006
  

       /van der Waals/ - some kinds of tape might already work this way, [Curry]. These little spikes have a billion year track record of nabbing things and not letting go. Again, I am really enthusiastic about this idea - it is along the lines of velcro as far as adapting a natural process for human use. [BB], this is one of those rare ideas on the HB which might actually be patentable. It occurs to me that the industrial / commercial use is the place to start since there is less human safety issue. This sort of tape would also work well on closeknit fabric like cotton / silk / polyster etc and would not leave behind a residue. It might be useful for designers.
bungston, Apr 07 2006
  

       microneedles are known for intradermal delivery of medicament. This is an interesting new use for microneedles [+].
xaviergisz, Apr 08 2006
  

       Far too practical and worthwhile to be posted here. Take it away and patent it, quick!
In the meantime, though, have a bun.
moomintroll, Apr 09 2006
  

       I think i have heard of this in a time magazine dude. There is a difference thoug, the thing was a pad that ha nano spikes that were like seringes that injected medication below the skin but did not aggrivate the nerve ending so it did not cause pain. The spikes also acted like an adhesive as you describe.
chivaking, Apr 11 2006
  

       Remembering TV ads for 'ouchless' bandages (Curad?). It didn't hurt (as much) to remove them. I'm guessing they used a weaker adhesive, which is fine for kids but would still rip the hair off an adult. These nano-spikes wouldn't leave bald patches on otherwise perfectly groomed legs, etc. Croissant, 'cause if I wanted a wax job, I'd do it at a time I don't have any flesh wounds.
Shz, Apr 11 2006
  

       Gecko's van der Waals attraction is pretty neat, but do we have the manufacturing capability to construct cheap disposable bandages with little branching hairs a few microns thick?   

       I'm sure we will someday, but in the interregnum, this is a fine idea.   

       One spiked bun.
shapu, Apr 11 2006
  

       I actually had a flesh wound on my interregnum a few months back. It hurt like crazy if I got lemon juice on it!
bungston, Apr 11 2006
  

       Also useful for thumbing pages, climbing the sides of buildings, and impersonating gekkos. You can bet the military would be interested. As would my wife, as she's allergic to bandaid adhesive.
RayfordSteele, Apr 12 2006
  

       Ah! //climbing buildings// So this is for firefighters and rescuing people!
DesertFox, Apr 12 2006
  

       A more effective method might be to use setae. Current methods of making synthetic setae are quite meticulous, but if you mass produce it on a large enough scale, it could be made fairly cheap. [+]
apocalyps956, Dec 21 2007
  

       Yes, this is baked in the form of transdermal drug delivery patches, and the nanoscale is not required for enhanced adhesion.
daseva, Aug 01 2008
  

       I disagree that this is baked by transdermal drug patches. Although microneedles are being developed for some patches, they are hollow, designed to deliver drugs. They are not a replacement for the adhesive.   

       They do prove that this concept is bakeable, as they can be made, and they do work as assumed. "These small needles penetrate the top layers of skin . . . needle does not penetrate deeply enough to stimulate the nerves and hence ... no pain!"   

       This idea is for an adhesive-less nano-spike bandage, not a glued-on patch with drug-delivery microneedles. The new patches show this idea will work and could be easily baked, but they do not bake it.
baconbrain, Aug 01 2008
  

       band-aids are a fraud perpetuated on a society that is unable to evaluate the effectiveness and purpose of the products it consumes. A more effective band-aid would have to do a better job of treating small injuries rather than making them more likely to become infected and slowing the rate of healing while increasing the degree of scarring. The fact that they fail so readily actually makes them a safer product. A really effective band-aid would be quite a liability (this is why the ones on the market fail so readily and why no medical product is remotely similar) and thus will never see the market.
WcW, Aug 01 2008
  

       [WorldChampionshipWrestling], a lifetime of tearing holes in myself has taught me that for something to heal, it needs to not be rubbing against something else. This is the job of the bandaid. It also keeps things out of the wounds. Pretend you are cleaning a fish. You slice angularly into your finger until you hit the bone. Now God himself may wish you to deal with it naturally, and bleed until it heals, but if I have to clean more fish, I would like some kind of protection, and I would have to deny God his pleasure.   

       It also keeps blood off things.   

       Therefore I possess a deep affection for bandaids, and always try to maintain a supply on hand.   

       [baconbrain] Do you think they would itch? Just a little bit? MMmm. You know they would. See link.
mylodon, Aug 02 2008
  

       I'm allergic to bandage and tape, too. Nice idea!
unfortunate baker, Aug 02 2008
  

       fantastic idea :-)
CaptainClapper, Aug 03 2008
  
      
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