Biophotonic 'smart bandages' show promise for wound management

Researchers at the University of South Australia (Adelaide, South Australia) have created a range of biosensors that can detect changes in a wound environment and alert a patient or medical staff by changing the color of the dressing or even sending a message to a smartphone.

Related: SERS will add real-time analysis to painless microneedle patch for drug testing

Prototypes have been developed for three different concepts: The first builds specially created sensors into polymers that can be produced as thin films and incorporated into the dressing material. These change color when the sensor detects changes in temperature or pH levels, which can indicate inflammation or infection. The approach uses photonics rather than potentially toxic chromophores or fluorophores. There are no dyes or chemicals, so the color comes from the way light interacts with the multilayered structure of the sensor.

In a related project, the researchers are investigating the potential for these smart dressings to automatically release a drug in response to changes in the wound environment; if the temperature of a wound reaches a certain level, for example, an antibiotic is dispensed.

The second concept uses a telemetric approach. Miniature electrical sensors incorporated into a dressing monitor changes in moisture levels in the wound or whether the pressure in a compression bandage has dropped below acceptable levels. The sensor contains a battery that connects via Bluetooth or a similar interface to a smartphone, which can in turn pass the message to another phone or a database.

“This would be invaluable to community nurses and others who monitor a number of patients in a number of places,” explains Professor Nico Voelcker, deputy director of the University’s Mawson Institute. “Rather than having to keep dropping in to check on a wound, they would be alerted if a dressing had become too wet to be effective or the pressure had dropped too much. And they would know whether to take immediate action or schedule it for the near future.”

The third concept is a point-of-care biosensor that can detect more complex parameters, such as the presence of bacteria or certain proteins and enzymes that are indicators of wound status. Medical staff would just need to drop a tiny amount of wound fluid onto the sensor and wait a couple of minutes for a result. So little fluid is needed that a test could be run every time a dressing is changed.

Voelcker and a team of nine have been working on the projects since being approached by the national Cooperative Research Centre for Wound Management Innovation (Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia) to bring their expertise in biosensors into the medical field.

-----

Don't miss Strategies in Biophotonics, a conference and exhibition dedicated to development and commercialization of bio-optics and biophotonics technologies!

Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, and join our group on LinkedIn

Subscribe now to BioOptics World magazine; it's free!

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

FDA authorizes emergency use of Zika virus molecular detection assay

The xMAP MultiFLEX Zika RNA assay combines optofluidics and digital signal processing to detect Zika virus in vitro.

Merz acquires laser tattoo removal device maker ON Light Sciences

Merz North America has acquired ON Light Sciences, which develops technologies to enhance laser-based dermatology procedures.

Shortwave-infrared device could improve ear infection diagnosis

An otoscope-like device that could improve ear infection diagnosis uses shortwave-infrared light instead of visible light.

Laser therapy extracts rare tumor that grew human hair, skin in boy's skull

About four years ago, a tumor comprised of human skin, hair, bone and cartilage was fast-growing inside a Ramsey, MN, 10-year-old youth's brain.
BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS