Mixing water and electricity is never a good thing, unless it's in the style of the new "CMB Antimicrobial Wound Dressing with PROSIT" bandage. When you wet it, it generates a small voltage which prevents pesky microbes, fungus, mold and yeast from getting through its treated polyester fibers. Good news if you've got an open wound, and good news if you're a fan of the old electric-shocker handshake joke. Just kidding: This is pretty clever stuff, particularly as it's also been shown to reduce pain. Currently you can leave it in place for three days, but maker Silverleaf Medical Products is working on extending that, and bringing PROSIT to saleability with FDA approval. [Medgadget]
I'll give it a try:
The website has a page that talks about the history of microcurrents in the skin:
These studies indicate that the presence of currents in the skin can help with the healing process. Apparently, the body naturally produces microcurrents in the skin but those fields are interrupted when a wound is formed.
Also on their site, they include a brochure that lists some of the advantages observed with microcurrents:
These Effects includes faster healing, reduced pain, less scaring, etc.
The bandage has a poka-dot type appearance. When the bandage is wetted with water or saline solution, the dots (or the area around them- not sure) act as individual batteries. These set up a weak charge across the wound. The voltage appears to be less than that from a single AA battery. This is too low to cause a shock-like sensation but sufficient to benefit the wound.
To work, the bandage must be kept wet. Also, the electrode materials in the bandage wear out with use and I imagine that is why they say it must be changed after 3 days (there may be other reasons such as sanitation, etc).
Batteries that use salty water (saline) as an electrolyte have been used before in other fields. I remember (don't have a link) a mini-sub that used such a battery. The cells would have to replaced once the electrodes where depleted.