Smart dressings with nanosensors detect wound infection

By embedding nanosensors in the dressing fibers, Associate Professor Daniel Roxbury and former graduate student Mohammad Moain Safai

The University of Rhode Island has created a continuous, non-invasive way to detect and monitor infection in a wound. Smart bandages use single-walled carbon nanotubes.

The smart bandage will be controlled by a miniaturea wearable device that will wirelessly (optically) detect the signal from the carbon nanotubes in the dressing. The signal can then be transmitted to a device (such as a smartphone) that automatically alerts the patient or healthcare provider of an infection.

Scientists hope the device will helpdiagnose the infection early, and as a result, the patient will need fewer antibiotics. In addition, the study authors hope that smart bandages will prevent drastic measures such as limb amputation. The development will be especially useful for people with diabetes, where the treatment of chronic wounds is already "part of the routine," the scientists note.

The technology behind the smart bandage is detailed in an article published in Advanced Functional Materials.

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