The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has announced the development of a smart bandage that improves wound management by indicating healing problems.
Many of the signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, and increased temperature and discharge can be subtle and difficult to interpret. The CSIRO bandages respond to the need for early detection of infection, helping ensure proper identification and healing of the wound. This could be especially important for people with chronic wounds, such as pressure ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers.
CSIRO’s bandages use a fiber with an intermediate sensor layer made from thermochromic liquid crystalline material. Thermochromic liquid crystals change their reflected color based on temperature when illuminated by white light. The fiber may be woven or knit into a loose textile product for incorporation into wound dressings.
The organization reports that when applied to the human body in the form of a bandage, the fiber visibly exhibits a change in color or color gradient from a temperature change as small as 0.5 degrees Celsius, within a range of 25 to 45 degrees Celsius.
CSIRO sees color-changing bandages delivering many benefits to patients. The thermochromic fiber allows for wounds to be monitored in real time without disturbing the dressing. The organization also sees possibilities for the fiber being used to monitor cancerous cells.
CSIRO focuses on creating measurable economic, environmental and social benefits that better our world and Australia’s place in it.