When using dressings to speed up the healing process of an open wound, it is necessary to periodically remove the dressing to check for infection. However, removing this protective covering creates an opportunity for bacteria to enter the wound site. To remedy this problem, researchers at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT have developed dressings which change color if the wound becomes infected. Early tests have shown promise, and the scientists now plan to test their invention in the field, at the University of Regensburg’s dermatology clinic.
From the press release:
“We have developed an indicator dye which reacts to different pH values, and we have integrated it into a dressing and a plaster. Healthy skin and healed wounds usually show a pH value of below 5. If this value increases, it is shifting from the acid to the alkaline range, which indicates complications in the healing of the wound. If the pH value is between 6.5 und 8.5 an infection is frequently present and the indicator color strip turns purple,” states Dr. Sabine Trupp, scientist at the EMFT, explaining the chemical reaction. In this way the intelligent dressing material makes it possible to regularly check wounds from the outside without disrupting the healing process.
Press release: Dressing indicates infections…