A team of Swiss researchers from the Technology in Textiles (TechinTex) project are working on a new type of wound dressing which can monitor the state of a wound using fiber optic threads woven into the dressing. The fibers are designed to change color in response to changes in the acidity of the wound, which is an indicator of its healing status. It is hoped that this new approach may replace the need for swabs and laboratory testing.
Currently the dressing is capable of detecting acidity changes in human blood serum, but may include enzyme monitoring in the future. The team is currently working on calibrating the light signal through a range of acidity levels. Such smart sensing dressings may offer a powerful new resource for the treatment of recalcitrant wounds such as diabetic, pressure and venous leg ulcers in the future.
More at IEEE Spectrum: Optical Fiber Watches Wounds
Project page: TecInTex: Technology Integration into Textiles