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Smart Bandage with a Wireless Sensor can Check the Status of a Wound

David Paul

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smart bandage
Scientists have created smart dressings with sensors that reveal a healing wound’s status without the need to remove dressings.

A group of researchers have developed a new type of smart bandage that can monitor the healing progress of wounds.

To optimise the healing process, the “innovative solution” is a bandage with an integrated moisture sensor, according to a study from the journal, Frontiers in Physics.

One issue with wound recovery is difficulty in keeping tabs on the progress of healing, and one of the main problems with that process is tracking moisture levels.

Wounds need to have the correct ratios to heal correctly – too little will make a wound dry out and too much will cause it to macerate and damage tissue.

Currently, doctors remove the bandages to check the status of a wound, exposing it to potentially harmful conditions and needlessly wasting bandages.

The new “smart bandage” contains a sensor that measures the levels of moisture in covered wounds with very high sensitivity, transmitting the data to a nearby smartphone.

The sensor operates in real-time by monitoring variations in moisture levels that “span over several orders of magnitude between dry and wet states,” the research said.

It is directly integrated with an RFID chip, implementing real-time wireless monitoring. The final device, scientists said, results in a “low-cost, user friendly, disposable and wirelessly connected patch”.

Commenting on the technology, Dr. Marta Tessarolo of the University of Bologna, one of the authors of the study, said: “PEDOT:PSS is an organic semiconducting polymer that can be easily deposited on several substrates as a standard ink.

“We also incorporated a cheap, disposable and bandage-compatible RFID tag, similar to those used for clothing security tags, into the textile patch.”

She added: “The tag can wirelessly communicate moisture level data with a smartphone, allowing healthcare staff to know when a bandage needs to be changed.”


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To test the smart bandage, the scientists exposed it to artificial wound exudate – the liquid that seeps from wounds. Results showed that it was highly sensitive and provided drastically different readings between dry, moist, and saturated conditions.

Dr Luca Possanzini, another co-author of the study, added: “We developed a range of bandages with various layers and different absorption properties and characteristics.

“The idea is that each type of wound could have its own appropriate dressing, from slowly exuding wounds to highly exuding wounds, such as burns and blisters,”

Based on the results, the researchers believe the smart bandage could be a valuable tool in wound management. And provided a “rapid, low-cost, disposable and wireless real-time monitoring of wound moisture”.


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David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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