Researchers at the University of South Australia are experimenting with a range of sensors that could be used to detect changes in a wound environment and alert the patient’s medical staff, according to a report.
Researchers are developing three conceptual prototypes. The first comprises sensors built into polymers that are produced into thin films and incorporated into the dressing material. Using photonics, the dressing materials change colors when the sensor detects changes in temperature or pH levels that could indicate inflammation or infection. The researchers are also investigating if changes in the wound environment could trigger the dressings to automatically release an antibiotic to help prevent complications.
The second prototype uses a telemetric approach and incorporates miniature electrical sensors into a dressing to monitor changes in moisture levels in the wound or pressure in a compression bandage. If moisture or compression levels change, a battery in the sensor that connects to Bluetooth or a smart phone can message another phone or database, informing the medical staff of the change.
The third concept is a point-of-care biosensor that could be used to detect the presence of bacteria or certain proteins and enzymes that are indicators of wound status. A tiny amount of wound fluid would be dropped onto the sensor and the medical staff would receive a result in minutes.
For more information:
Smart bandages ready to take wound management to a new level. Available at: http://www.theleadsouthaustralia.com.au/industries/research-development/smart-bandages-ready-to-take-wound-management-to-a-new-level/. Accessed May 23, 2014.