A team of scientists based in Singapore created an organic and antibacterial gel bandage from discarded natural products, thus adopting a waste-to-resource approach that benefits patients and the environment alike.
“By using waste products which are currently discarded in large quantities — durian husks and glycerol — we could turn waste into a valuable biomedical resource that can enhance the speedy recovery of wounds and to reduce chances of infections,” says Professor William Chen, the Director of Food Science and Technology Programme at Nanyang Technological University.
First, high-quality cellulose is extracted from the durian’s husks, then mixed with glycerol, a by-product of biodiesel and the soap industry. Together, they form a soft gel similar to silicon sheets. When adding organic molecules from natural yeast phenolics, the bandage becomes deadly for bacteria. On top of being non-toxic and biodegradable, the newly created bandage should have a smaller environmental footprint and costs less than those made from synthetic materials.