UK based company Polymertronics are developing band aids incorporating light-emitting diodes that can be used to treat skin cancer in combination with light-sensitive drugs.
The band aids contain organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), and when used in conjunction with light-sensitive drugs (which are applied to the skin as a cream) the light activates the drugs, destroying the tumour in what is termed photodynamic therapy.
The clusters of battery-powered red OLEDs are printed onto a strip of flexible plastic. The pattern of OLEDs exactly matches the shape of the patient’s tumour and when placed over the tumour, the red light directly targets the cancerous tissue.
Human trials using these techniques are about to commence, and the company hopes to commercialise the technology in the next 2 years.