Penn State University’s Department of Food Science have worked utilizing an electrospinning device to stretch fibrous strands from a solution of biodegradable food-starch. After using the solvent to dissolve the starch into fluid, the long strands are then spun and then can be woven together like textiles—an application that could potentially include the creation of napkins, tissues, paper-like products, and even medical dressings, such as gauze and bandages.
Lingyan Kong, graduate student, food science, states that “there are many applications for starch fibers,” and that “starch is the most abundant and the least expensive of natural polymers.” Along with Greg Ziegler, professor of food science, PSU is attempting to bring this technique to scale for industrial processes would be a highly cost-effective and green development. Beside cost, another consumer benefit of starch-based bandages would be that they are painless to remove. Unlike modern-day market bandages (which are often painful to remove), a starch bandage would over time degrade into glucose—or sugar—a substance naturally and safely absorbed by our bodies.
The only possible negative: People might INTENTIONALLY try to get injured just to get bandages that would dissolve into sugar. It’s kind of hard to avoid since everyone loves a good sugar high. I know I do. When these types of bandages become available, papercuts may not suck as much as they normally do.