Australian scientists have developed a 'smart bandage' that changes color when a wound becomes infected.
Its developers say it could lead to speedier and more effective treatments for chronic wounds such as leg ulcers and bedsores.
"The bandage works by changing colour according to temperature. Changes in temperature can indicate inflammation or suggest problems with blood supply, which can lead to infection," says lead inventor and Monash PhD student Louise van der Werff.
"The bandage will help patients and clinicians with early detection, allowing them to treat any complications before they become serious."
The next step is to turn the fabric into a full-fledged bandage that will be commercially produced.
"The fabric we’ve created is sensitive to changes of less than half a degree Celsius. Patients and clinicians will be able to match the colour of the fibres with a calibrated chart that indicates the health of the wound," says van der Werff.
"Currently clinicians use electronic equipment to determine temperatures across the wound and surrounding tissue. We expect the bandage will deliver significant cost savings."