Conventional healing patches work by keeping a wounded area sterile usually using a type of adhesive backing to attach to the skin. This can poses several issues, such as skin rash on people with sensitive skin and a low absorption capacity. Another problem would be that the adhesive backing loses its effectiveness upon liquid contact. This means that the current healing patches consequently fall off when in contact with sweat, water, or other forms of liquid. Not to mention, their rigid rectangular-shaped formation often do not entirely cover the wound - being too big or too small - causing it to be inefficient.
In this work, we aim to make a self-conforming healing patch out of silk obtained from silkworm in combination with sodium alginate. This healing patch is projected to be self-conforming. We also aim to tune in the properties in order to best fit the criterias to tackle the problems with current healing patches, including having a good water retention ability, is bio-degradable, and antibacterial and antifungal. In order to enhance the healing properties, we incorporate sirih (Piper betle), a native Indonesian plant, known to have antimicrobial activities into the healing patches.  This way, the healing patch can further prevent fungal growth and help maintain its asepticity.
Result and Conlusion
Properties using alginate: the result shows that less alginate promote better water retention (60%).
Antimicrobial test : the result shows no clear zone around the patch and that Candida utilis does not grow around the patch.
The results have fully proven sirih’s antimicrobial ability by forming clear zones that can be significantly observed at 1% or higher. This research has also succeeded to determine that 60% alginate concentration will result in the best solid adsorbent - one that can best retain the Acetone:Sirih solution. At higher concentrations of alginate, substrate becomes too stiff, whereas at lower concentrations substrate becomes too sticky. Therefore, the best combination to make the healing patch is using 60% alginate concentration mixed with Acetone:Sirih, which is in 1:0.25 ratio in this experiment. Future improvements can be made by tuning more of its properties, including flexibility and also in vivo trials to further measure its effectivity.
In this work, Gisella is utilizing silk materials which obtained from silkworm to make an alternative healing patch.
Silk/Alginate-Based Self-Conforming Healing Patch