Smart Bandage could help with a major problem for chronic wounds, say researchers

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Medical practitioners need to make sure how a dressed injury is healing without taking off the bandage. This is a problem because removing a bandage can disturb the healing process. The technology is published in the journal Frontiers in Physics could serve to be useful.

The new smart bandage comprises a sensor that can sensitively measure moisture level in the wound and then transmit the data to a smartphone close by without the need for the medical practitioner to remove the bandage.

In the future, with change in the materials and geometry of the bandage, researchers may be able to fine tune to be suitable for different types of wounds. The technology could help medical practitioners to observe wounds more easily and successfully.

Meanwhile, chronic wounds can be a cause for significant suffering and disability for patients experiencing them. The healing of such wounds is tricky and there are several factors that can affect healing of wound such as glucose levels, temperature, and acidity. However, moisture is one of the most important parameters for moisture levels.

In fact, if the wound is too dry it can cause the tissue to be desiccated; and if it is too wet it can become wrinky and white. Both the situations hamper the healing process.

However, if the moisture level of the wound is to be checked then the bandage needs to be removed thereby potentially damaging the fragile healing tissue. These issues have inspired the development of smart bandages in a bid to monitor moisture level of wounds non-invasively. The choice of material is a challenge as bandages need to be disposable, biocompatible, and inexpensive.

To attain this, researchers used a conductive polymer on a gauze using screen printing technique, and then incorporated the gauze with commercially available bandage materials.

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