Chronic skin wounds may be notoriously difficult to treat, but at the same time they shouldn’t be over-treated, subjecting patients to more antibiotics than is necessary. That’s why scientists have developed a “smart” bandage that only dispenses medication as needed.
Developed by a research team at Massachusetts’ Tufts University, the prototype bandage is just 3 mm thick, and consists of transparent medical tape, a heat-activated antibiotic gel, and flexible electronic components.
One of those components is a sensor that measures the pH value of the wound – if the figure is significantly above 6.5, it indicates that the wound is infected. The bandage also contains a temperature sensor, which detects the heat associated with inflammation. Additionally, the scientists have developed sensors that could be added to measure oxygenation, which is a sign of healing.