Patches control wound healing: intelligent bandage makes infections visible
Monitor the healing process of wounds without changing the dressing? No problem with the new association that scientists at the Munich Fraunhofer Institute for Modular Solid State Technologies (EMFT) have developed from a material that changes color as soon as the wound becomes infected.
Risk of infection due to dressing changes Until now, dressings for wound control had to be removed regularly, but this always entailed the risk of infection. Because the germs could penetrate the open wounds and then spread under the bandage. In order to avoid such complications in the healing process of wounds, the specialists at EMFT have now developed a material that indicates infection of the wound or pathological changes in the skin through a discoloration of the bandage from yellow to violet. So no unnecessary dressing changes are necessary to view the miracles and the healing process can run optimally.
Discoloration depending on the pH value The discoloration of the plaster or bandage is based on a specially developed indicator dye that is contained in the material and reacts to the pH of the wound. With healthy skin and healed wounds, the pH is usually below 5 and increases to 6.5 to 8.5 in the case of infections. The special thing was that "the dye (...) must be chemically stable bound to the fibers of the dressing material or the plaster", explained Dr. Sabine Trupp from EMFT. Because “this is the only way to ensure that it does not get into the wound. At the same time, the indicator has to show a clear color change and also react sensitively in the correct pH range, ”emphasized the expert. The first tests with a prototype of the association have already been successfully completed, so that nothing stands in the way of the clinical-dermatological application that is to be carried out at the University of Regensburg.
Intelligent dressing materials of the future But the scientists from EMFT are striving for more. In the next step, you are already thinking of associations with integrated optical sensor modules that measure the pH value and can display the results on the display of a reader. In this way, the exact pH value could be read off and an even better assessment of the wound healing process would be possible. "Our previous studies on the pH value in acute and chronic wounds have shown that it plays a central role in wound healing," explained Philipp Babilas, responsible for the medical side of the project, from the clinic and polyclinic for dermatology in Regensburg. The scientists want to use the knowledge gained to develop new dressing materials. (fp, 04.11.2010)
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