Ironically, in order to observe the wound healing, the dressing had to be removed, which could hinder the healing process. However, an ingenious new bandage can continuously display the condition of a wound without the need for a power source.
The experimental dressing, developed by a team of scientists at the National University of Singapore, is called “PETAL” (phosphorusBattery-fr similar to apereYestyou AI enable MuItiplexed) sensor patch. Aside from the somewhat forced acronym, the bandage’s name refers to the fact that it looks (sort of) like a windmill.
The multilayer device consists of an underlying medical tape adhered to the skin around The wound’s middle “fluidic panel” layer contains microfluidic channels arranged in a five-petal flower pattern, and a top layer of breathable clear silicone.
When PETAL is applied to a wound, fluid from the wound is passively drawn through openings in the fluid panel and distributed into the five channels that form the petals.
Once the fluid reaches the chemical contained in the reservoirs at the end of each channel (different for each reservoir), the chemical reacts according to one of five “wound indicators” (temperature, pH, uric acid level, humidity , and the concentration of a metabolic waste product called trimethylamine.
By taking a picture of PETAL with a smartphone and then analyzing the color of the reservoir in that picture using an artificial intelligence-based app, the current state of the wound can be assessed without removing the dressing. In tests on mice, the technology was shown to be 97 percent accurate in distinguishing healing from non-healing chronic and burn wounds.
“The paper-based PETAL sensor patch we designed is thin, flexible and biocompatible, allowing it to be easily and safely integrated with wound dressings for biomarker detection,” said lead scientist Xiaodi Su, Ph.D. “Thus, we can use this convenient sensor patch for rapid and low-cost wound care management in lay medical settings such as hospitals and even at home.”
A paper on the research was recently published in the journal scientific progress.
source: National University of Singapore