A team of British scientists has developed a smart wound dressing that can detect the presence of bacterial infection. The ability to clean wounds of infections before they develop further would revolutionize wound therapy.
The dressing glows green when in contact with a bacterial biofilm, an encapsulated mass of bacteria protected by a film through which passing drugs is very difficult.
From the study abstract in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces:
The dressing is made of a hydrated agarose film in which the fluorescent dye containing vesicles were mixed with agarose and dispersed within the hydrogel matrix. The static and dynamic models of wound biofilms, from clinical strains of Escherichia coli,Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecalis, were established on nanoporous polycarbonate membrane for 24, 48, and 72 h, and the dressing response to the biofilms on the prototype dressing evaluated. The dressing indicated a clear fluorescent/color response within 4 h, only observed when in contact with biofilms produced by a pathogenic strain. The sensitivity of the dressing to biofilms was dependent on the species and strain types of the bacterial pathogens involved, but a relatively higher response was observed in strains considered good biofilm formers.
Study in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces: Prototype Development of the Intelligent Hydrogel Wound Dressing and Its Efficacy in the Detection of Model Pathogenic Wound Biofilms…