Bandages That Change Color when a Wound Is Infected

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Research Institution in Munich, Germany, have placed pH sensitive dyes in bandages. These change color when they come into contact with fluids that indicate that a wound is infected:

In creating the color control strip, the researchers had to ensure the dye remained chemically stable when bonded to the fibers of the dressing material or the plaster to ensure it doesn’t get into the wound. They also had to ensure the indicator showed a clear change in color and reacted sensitively in the right pH range.

The researchers have already produced a prototype of the dressing and they say initial tests have proved successful. They are now looking to take the idea further with plans to integrate optical sensor modules into the dressing to measure the pH value and indicate the results on a reader unit. This would allow the pH value to be read off precisely, providing information about how the wound is healing.

Link via Geekosystem | Photo: Fraunhofer EMFT

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If you're leaving a wound unchecked long enough to need the bandage to tell you if it's infected or not you have really really really bad procedures.

Sounds like another way for the insurance companies to charge you $135/bandaid.
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This is pretty neat! Probably overkill for simple cuts, but great in hospitals. If you can dress the wound in a sterile environment, limiting the frequency you need to check on the wound could decrease hospital-acquired infections like MRSA.
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