From Mother Nature Network's John Platt:

Whether you peel them off slowly or just rip them away, one thing is certain about bandages: they hurt like heck when they come off.

But beyond the hurt, sticky bandages are actually a pretty big medical problem. More than 1.5 million people suffer injuries every year when bandages are removed — primarily newborns and the elderly, whose skin is more sensitive and easily damaged. Injuries in these cases can vary from temporary skin irritation to permanent scarring.

"This is one of the biggest problems faced in the neonate units, where the patients are helpless and repeatedly wrapped in medical tapes designed for adult skin," said Dr. Bryan Laulicht from Brigham and Women's Hospital.

To help solve this problem, Laulicht and other researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology set out to develop a new type of bandage that would not hurt newborns' skin when removed. They pulled their inspiration from three elements in nature: spider webs, which have different degrees of adhesiveness; the mineral mica, which forms easily peeled layers; and the feet of geckos, which contain patterns that allow the lizards to climb vertical surfaces but not stick permanently.

With these three examples in mind, the researchers developed a novel bandage that has three layers. The first layer is the adhesive, the top layer is a not-sticky backing, and the middle layer — and this is their real innovation — is an anti-adhesive coating that allows the backing to be removed quickly and easily without the application of much force. This layer was etched with a laser to create a pattern that had the strength to hold the bandage together but a low peel force to allow for each removal when tugged at the right angle. After the top layers are moved, the residual adhesive stays on the skin where it can easily be removed just by using a finger to roll it off the skin. Even that adhesive, the researchers say, is better than the one used in current medical tape bandages.

"By controlling those interactions, we were able to define a regime where the adhesive could secure devices very strongly to the skin, but was very easy to remove," co-author Jeffrey Karp told CNN.

A study detailing this new bandage was published Oct. 29 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Now, don't go rushing to your local store looking for spider-web-gecko-feet bandages. The researchers' concept hasn't been clinically tested, so it could be years before it hits the market. So far it has only been tested on stainless steel plates and the researchers' own arms — which shows how much they threw themselves into their work.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • <em>From Getty:</em> LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 21: A five-month-old female slender loris waits to be given her first health check by the veterinary team at London Zoo on July 21, 2011 in London, England. Two female baby slender lorises, who are yet to be named, were given health checks, their sex determined and micro-chipped. Slender Loris is the common name for the strepsirrhine primates who are nocturnal and originate from India, Sri Lanka, and southeast Asia. London Zoo supports conservation of lorises in Sri Lanka, where populations are thought to be under threat from deforestation. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • This photo taken on September 26, 2011 shows a group of giant panda cubs napping at a nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A vet holds a Colombian Tigrillo or Margay (Leopardus wiedii) of about nine days old, found in a rural area south of Medellin and taken to the Animal Welfare Foundation, in Medellin, Antionquia department, Colombia on August 13, 2011.(RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Newborn female Asiatic Elephant (Elephas Maximus) calf born to Johti, a 44-year-old, plays at Ostrava's Zoo on May 31, 2011. The calf was born on April 15. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR

  • Veterinarian Doctor Maria Diaz gives milk to a newborn lion at the Zoo and Eco Park 'Joya Grande' in the Santa Cruz de Yojoa municipality, department of Cortes, Honduras, on September 17, 2011. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>From AP:</em> In this undated photo provided by Green Renaissance/World Wildlife Fund, a black rhino is transported by helicopter in South Africa. The seventh black rhino population established by the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project was released after an epic trip across the country. Nineteen of the critically endangered animals were moved from the Eastern Cape to a new location in Limpopo province. (AP Photo/Green Renaissance-World Wildlife Fund)

  • Three lion cubs play at the Santa Fe zoo in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia, on November 4, 2011. The cubs were born on October 9, 2011 at the zoo. (RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Kopatch, a 15-year-old weeper capuchin monkey, carries her one-week-old baby at Ramat Gan Safari, an open-air zoo near Tel Aviv on October 26, 2011. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Two white tigers cub are pictured on December 5, 2011 at the zoological park of Cerza in Hermival-les-Vaux, northern France. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Orang-Utan baby Boo is pictured in his enclosure at Madrid's Zoo on April 14, 2011. The nine-months-old Orang-Utan was officially named Boo, inspired in the Sanskrit word 'bhoomi' (or 'bumi') which means Earth. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A baby Pygmy hippopotamus takes a bath in an enclosure at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo on July 24, 2011. The baby hippo was born on June 22 at the zoo. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

  • <em>From Getty:</em> BRISTOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A one month old baby Siamang Gibbon sits with its mother Salome as they shelter from the wind and the rain in their enclosure at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm on February 1, 2011 in Bristol, England. The little ape, yet to be named, is a Siamang Gibbon which are facing worrying population declines, with zoos playing an important role in maintaining healthy populations in captive environments. His parents, Samson and Salome are part of a European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for managed breeding and have a 1-year-old sibling called Sultana who was also born in captivity. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah is seen with her cubs on display at Taronga Zoo on October 25, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

  • A male foal Zebra (Equus quagga burchelli) is seen with its mother at the National Zoo of San Salvador on October 4, 2011. (OSCAR RIVERA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A one-month-old baby lion-tailed macaque clings to its mother at Berlin's Zoologischer Garten Zoo August 23, 2011. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A zookeeper holds up Kit and Kitty, the twin red pandas born in June on the first day of their introduction into their new enclosure at Tierpark Zoo on September 13, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

  • <em>From AP:</em> A 3-month-old giant panda cub is brought out by Dr. Hayley Murphy, director of veterinary services at Zoo Atlanta, before a naming ceremony at which actor Jack Black was present on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 in Atlanta. The cub is the only giant panda born at a U.S. zoo last year. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • A chimpanzee cuddles her infant in their newly renovated habitat at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on September 30, 2011. (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> An Indian rhinoceros cub plays in a mud hole with its mother Betty at the Tierpark Zoo in August 5, 2011 in Berlin. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Polar bear shakes off water in his enclosure at the zoo on July 26, 2011 in Prague . AFP PHOTO/MICHAL CIZEK

  • A day-old newborn giraffe stands beside his mother at Ramat Gan Safari Park on November 14, 2011 in Ramat Gan, Dikla, near Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A pony grazes in a meadow at sunset on November 21, 2011 in Lausanne, Western Switzerland. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Two month old North China leopard cub Nekama sits in a basket in her enclosure at the Berlin zoo on March 15, 2011. Nekama was born on January 7, 2011 and weighs now around 4.5 kilogrammes. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE

  • <em>From Getty:</em> FETCHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 01: Newborn lambs stand for the first time at Barracks Farm on March 31, 2011 in Fetcham, England. 300 ewes are lambing at the farm owned by the Conisbee family who supply their own butchers shops in nearby Horsley. The business has been run by generations of Conisbees for over 250 years. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • <em>From AP:</em> Nabire, the 27-year-old northern white female rhino accompanied with 38-year-old southern white rhino Natal, right, sits in an enclosure at the zoo in Dvur Kralove, Czech Republic, Friday, July 8, 2011. Another female northern white, Nesari, died in Dvur Kralove in her sleep May 26, 2011, at the age 39, further reducing the world's dwindling population of the critically endangered animal. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A Lion 'Dukat' and lioness 'Rose' walk in the snow in Warsaw's zoo on February 18, 2011. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI

  • <em>From AP:</em> An adult female Francois' langur coddles a baby at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, in Cleveland. The baby was born Jan. 25, 2011. The care of the infant can be shared by several females and not just the mother. Babies are bright orange when born. At about three months of age the color begins to turn black. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Orang-Utan baby Duran (R) plays in his enclosure next to his mother Djudi in the zoo of Dresden, eastern Germany on January 28, 2011. The Orang-Utan baby is the youngest of its kind in the zoo and celebrates his first birthday on January 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO / OLIVER KILLIG

  • <em>From AP:</em> On this photo taken July 8, 2011, a man shows a two-headed albino snake in a private zoo in Yalta, Ukraine. (AP Photo/UNIAN)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A giant panda cub plays with the boots of her feeder at the enclosure at the Giant Panda Research and Conservation Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province on March 25, 2011. There are only 1,590 remaining in the wild, mostly in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, as another 290 are in captive-bred programmes worldwide, mainly in China, according to official reports. AFP PHOTO / LILIAN WU

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Two dogs plays during an animal rights protest in front of Romanian Parliament building in Bucharest on April 11, 2011. Romanian Chamber of Deputies Administration Committee approved past week the law on stray dogs euthanasia. The draft will be sent the Chamber of Deputies for a vote, which has the final vote. AFP PHOTO DANIEL MIHAILESCU

  • <em>From Getty:</em> SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 23: A Red Ruff Lemur enjoys a Thanksgiving meal at the San Francisco Zoo on November 23, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Fifteen lemurs at the San Francisco Zoo were treated to a Thanksgiving feast of green beans, a fruit salad made up of apples, bananas, grapes sweet potatoes and a turkey made out of monkey chow. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Magdalena, a tortoise with two heads and five legs, is displayed on March 11, 2011 in Zilina. Magdalena has become in recent days, the most popular animal in Slovakia. AFP PHOTO/ STRINGER

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A squirrel eats berries in a tree in Cologne, on October 24, 2011. AFP PHOTO / OLIVER BERG

  • A red-crested cardinal hatchling rests on a tree branch at an aviary in Singapore's Jurong Bird Park on September 20, 2011. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Malaysian jellyfish swim in a tank at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo on August 1, 2011. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)