New bandage lights up for infections


Glow bandageThe early detection of wound infection can dramatically improve patient care and clinical outcomes. So imagine if your bandage could signal when a wound starts to fester.

Wait no more, from the UK’s University of Bath comes this prototype wound dressing that glows when it detects pathogen activity from the ‘biofilm,’ a slimy substance made of external DNA, proteins and complex sugars. It will then deliver antibiotics automatically.

Basically, the researchers are using nanotechnology to develop a medical dressing which will detect and treat infection in wounds. The bandage will work by releasing antibiotics from nanocapsules triggered by the presence of disease-causing pathogenic bacteria, which will target treatment before the infection takes hold.

The bandage will also change colour when the antibiotic is released, alerting healthcare professionals that there is infection in the wound.

This is an important step in treating burns patients, particularly children, where infections can lead to toxic shock syndrome, a potentially fatal condition.

In the tests, the bandage detected strains of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecalis.

Cool, right?