No one really
knows why, but for an open wound, simply applying suction dramatically
speeds healing times. (The theory is that the negative pressure
draws bacteria out, and encourages circulation.) But for almost
everyone, that treatment is out of reach – simply because the
systems are expensive – rentals cost at least $100 a day and
need to be recharged every six hours.
No more. Danielle
Zurovcik, a doctoral student at MIT, has created a hand-powered
suction-healing system that costs about $3. The device is composed
of an airtight wound dressing, connected by a plastic tube to a
cylinder with accordion-like folds. Squeezing it creates the suction,
which lasts as long as there’s no air leak. What’s more, where regular
dressings need to be replaced up to three times a day – a painful
ordeal – the new cuff can be left on for several days.