Smart Bandage

A “smart bandage” that detects and treats infection using a smartphone app has the potential for transformative advances in wound care, according to University of Victoria bioengineer Mohsen Akbari. He is the principal investigator of a study published this week in an international journal which describes the science behind the innovation.

Akbari and his UVic-based research team with collaborators from Harvard Medical School and UBC, are working with UVic Industry Partnerships to commercialize GelDerm, a patent-pending bandage that monitors pH levels at wound sites to detect the earliest signs of bacterial infection.

A patient using GelDerm will be able to scan over the bandage’s embedded sensors with a smartphone app to gauge whether infection has set in. The information can be used for self-monitoring and can be relayed wirelessly to a patient’s healthcare team for follow-up. Should antibiotics be required to treat an incipient infection, they can be administered directly through the bandage without having to remove it.

“There is a pressing need to develop advanced dressings that are capable of monitoring wound conditions and providing proper treatment when necessary,” says Akbari, whose bandage was featured on the cover of Advanced Health Care Materials this week. “The proposed technology holds great promise in managing chronic and acute injuries caused by trauma, surgery or diabetes.”

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