A group of researchers at Tufts University in the U.S have developed a prototype smart bandage that is able to monitor chronic wounds and has the ability to deliver drug treatments.
The technology has been described in the journal Small and it uses sensors that monitor pH and temperature, which are the most important factors that can indicate infection or inflammation in non-healing wounds.
All this data is read by a microprocessor that can release the necessary drugs on demand by heating the gel enclosed in its construction, if it reads that the healing process could benefit from it. The entire thing is attached to transparent medical tape, which forms a flexible bandage.
The microprocessor can be re-used, but everything else is disposable.
This smart bandage is intended to provide real-time monitoring and treatment delivery with limited intervention.
For now, the smart bandages have been tested successfully only under in-vitro conditions. Pre-clinical studies will determine how well they function in comparison to traditional bandages and other wound care products.