New Bandages Change Color To Indicate An Infection
Watch your wounds: an announcement released this week says scientists have developed a bandage that changes colors when the material detects an infection in the skin.
The bandage, developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Research Institution in Munich, contains a dye that detects changes in the skin’s pH level using an indicator dye.
Allowing the bandage to detect infection decreases the chance of contracting more germs.
"Healthy skin and healed wounds usually show a pH value of below 5...If the pH value is between 6.5 und 8.5 an infection is frequently present and the indicator color strip turns purple," says Dr. Sabine Trupp, one of the scientists involved in the project.
A regular bandage is supposed to prevent infection, but often it disturbs healing. The new bandage dye allows for someone to see how the healing is progressing from the outside without intervening in the healing process.
Developing the dye wasn’t easy.
"The dye has to remain chemically stable when bonded to the fibers of the dressing material or the plaster to ensure that it does not get into the wound. At the same time, the indicator must show a clear change in color and also react sensitively in the right pH range," says Trupp.
Researchers, however, are not satisfied with only these results—they hope to develop their product further.
Scientists hope to test drive the new product at a dermatology clinic in the hospital of the University of Regensburg before releasing it on the market.
"Our studies of the pH value in acute as well as in chronic wounds have shown that it plays a key role in wound healing," said Dr. Philipp Babilas, supervisor of the project.
In the future, they plan to create a bandage that measures pH values on the skin using optical sensor modules, which will help researchers keep track of an individual’s healing process as well.
To reach reporter Lindy Tolbert, click here.