Scientists have created a smart new dressing that will help solve a serious problem in the treatment of chronic wounds. It transmits damage status data directly to the smartphone.
To understand that the wound is healing and does not require treatment, doctors have to remove the bandage. However, this can interfere with the healing process. The technology presented in a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Physics could solve the problem.
The new smart bandage contains a sensor that can measure the moisture level of a wound very accurately and then transmit the data to a smartphone without requiring doctors to remove the bandages. In the future, by changing the geometry and materials of the dressing, researchers may be able to adapt it to different types of injuries. This technology will help doctors manage wounds more easily and effectively.
There are many factors that can affect wound healing, such as temperature, glucose levels, and acidity. However, one of the most important is the humidity level.
However, if the doctor wants to check the moisture level of the wound, he needs to remove the dressing, and this can damage the delicate healing tissue. To solve the problem, scientists have created a new smart dressing for non-invasive monitoring of the state of damage. The choice of materials was challenging as the dressings must be biocompatible, disposable and inexpensive.
In the development, the researchers used the conductive polymer PEDOT: PSS. They applied it to gauze using a screen-printing technique. The idea is that a change in the moisture level of the wound causes a change in the electrical signal measured by the sensor.
“PEDOT: PSS is an organic semiconducting polymer that can be easily applied to multiple substrates as a standard ink,” explained Dr. Marta Tessarolo of the University of Bologna, author of the study. “We also used a cheap, disposable and bandage-compatible RFID tag, similar to those used for security clothing tags, into a textile patch. The tag can wirelessly transmit humidity levels to a smartphone, letting medical staff know when to change dressings. ”
Scientists have already tested the dressings by exposing them to artificial wound exudate.