This Smart Dressing Glows When Wounds Are Infected

In instances when you suffer from a wound, you are not simply left with a torn tissue to deal with. You would eventually have to contend with infections that develop over a period of time. In case the damage spreads too far, the chances of recovery become very slim, accordingly. In an attempt to cut down on such risks, scientists have designed a prototype wound dressing that has the ability to pick up any bacteria that may be present in the initial phase of infection.

Wound dressing

Bacteria which live in those wounds reside in a biofilm which is a slimy substance comprised of proteins, complex sugars and external DNA. As soon as the biofilm is reacted with the dressing and it turns into a fluorescent color, it indicates that the bacteria are present. The dressing can detect changes in the presence of bacteria residing in the wound. It is no secret that all wounds develop some bacteria within them. As the bacteria begin to make biofilms while colonizing within the wound, the immune clearance keeps them in check.

The scientists tested the bacteria E. coli as well as S. aureus that cause common infection. The detection rate recorded for biofilms from harmful strain is extremely fast. The wound dressing takes no more than four hours to detect the presence of bacteria. Scientists believe that this could potentially prove crucial in the process of post-surgery recovery. If this is appropriately used, it is believed to make great breakthroughs in the early diagnosis of of post-surgical infection. Thus, it would potentially reduce cases of sepsis.

This sort of wound dressing is still far from perfection. The scientists continue to work on safety testing and have plans on carrying out a clinical study in nearly three years. Here’s hoping that the efforts are materialized.

[Source: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces]