There’s nothing fun about getting a nasty cut or flesh wound. Depending on the severity, of course, the body heals, but that healing process is often uncomfortable and requires a lot of maintenance. One can suffer from sleepless nights, flare-ups, and infections. Well, no more! Thanks to advances in medical technology, gone are the days of the simple fabric bandage. Introducing the smart bandage.
Germs love to gather in wounds. It’s the perfect breeding ground. With this come immune system issues, infections, pain, and redness, especially for those already struggling with an underlying medical condition. In this case, the skin cannot heal, greatly increasing the chances of a more serious infection.
Scientists at the University of Rhode Island have come up with new technology for monitoring chronic and severe ulcers and signs of infection. Daniel Roxbury and his colleagues created “smart bandages” that use built-in nanosensors to identify potential problems with the detection of hydrogen peroxide, a biomarker of infection.
Inside the smart bandage is essentially a jet of carbon nanotubes that emit an infrared signal when it interacts with hydrogen peroxide. These nanotubes are structured in such a way that they allow hydrogen peroxide molecules to enter their shell without bypassing the nanosensors.
One of the most important revolutionary advances is that carbon nanotubes are embedded into bandages and do not require any batteries to work, making them incredibly advanced. According to Roxbury, smart bandages do not require expensive and sophisticated electronics. While this is not yet mainstream, the medical team behind this development predicts that countless clinical practices will be using this technology to monitor chronic wounds in hospitals and even nursing homes.