Researchers have developed smart wound dressings with embedded nanosensors that glow to alert patients if a wound is not healing properly.
Multifunctional antimicrobial dressings are equipped with fluorescent sensors that glow brightly under ultraviolet light if an infection begins to spread or a wound does not heal properly.
Also, smart dressings, developed by a team of scientists and engineers at RMIT University, use the powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties of magnesium hydroxide to heal wounds faster.
The new dressings are cheaper to manufacture than silver-based dressings but are just as effective against bacteria and fungi.
Currently, the only way to check the condition of wounds is to remove the bandages, which is both painful and risky: pathogens can enter an unhealed wound.
Wee Khanh Truong, PhD Student Vice President at RMIT.
The smart new dressings not only fight bacteria and reduce inflammation to promote healing, they also help monitor wound health. During the work, the research team synthesized nanolayers, which are 1000-10 thousand times thinner than human hair, and embedded them into nanofibers.
Magnesium hydroxide nanolayers respond to pH changes, so they are easy to use as sensors to track healing.