By Micheal Franco, CNET
A smart liquid bandage glows to reveal the amount of oxygen the wound underneath is getting, and that could help doctors help us heal.
In addition to indicating the rate at which a wound is getting oxygen, Evans told CNET the bandage is particularly valuable because it can also map the oxygen supply across a wound. So if there is a loss of oxygen at any one part of the wound, doctors would be able to focus their attention in that area. Evans said that the bandage could truly “shine” in three arenas in particular. The first would be helping with chronic wounds such as those suffered by diabetics. These, he says, cost the health care system an estimated $25 billion per year.
“Oxygenation is also crucial for burns, especially when the burn is ‘debrided’ to remove dead tissue and encourage healing,” he added. “Without an accurate assessment of oxygenation, clinicians can over- or under-debride, resulting in poor functional and cosmetic consequences.
“Another area of wound care where oxygen is critical is in the care of tissue transplants; when tissue are grafted, they require oxygen supply at their new site to survive. Transplanted tissues with poor blood and oxygen supply undergo cellular death. There are many ways a graft can lose its oxygen supply, from anastamotic failure (rupture of the sutured arteries) to venous congestion (clogs in the draining veins), so it is important to have a simple, visual assessment of oxygenation in grafted tissues in case these complications occur.”
Currently, the researchers are working to improve the wound covering, which they call a S.M.A.R.T bandage (sensing, monitoring and release of therapeutics). They are developing more powerful phosphors to improve its oxygen-sensing function. They are also working to develop a bandage that could pick up on more parameters than just oxygen such as pH and bacteria levels. Finally, they’re investigating ways in which the bandage could automatically deliver drugs at the wound site. News of the smart bandage was published last week in The Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal, Biomedical Optics Express.
Wound care is constantly improving. This is an article publish Oct 6, 2014. Northwoods Foot & Ankle posted it for our patients to read about one of the great strides being made in Wound Care. If you have a wound, Please make an appointment with Dr. Dirksen so you can get on the road to recovery. 715-358-3668