Sydney: Smart bandages that can change colour to reveal the progress of wound healing, besides speeding up their recovery, are in the offing.
"We hope that the dressing could lead to more rapid and effective treatment of chronic wounds such as leg ulcers, saving time and money, as well as improving patient well-being," says the lead inventor Louise van der Werff.
"We`ve created a fabric that changes colour in response to temperature - showing changes of less than 0.5 of a degree," said der Werff, a Monash University doctoral student.
"We expect that, when incorporated into a bandage it will allow nurses to quickly identify healing problems such as infection or interruptions to the blood supply, which are typically accompanied by a local increase or decrease in temperature," she says.
"If problems are not quickly identified and treated," Louise says, "Wounds can persist for months or years resulting in a major reduction in quality of life," according to a Monash statement.
The colour-changing material the researchers have developed is in the form of a fibre, which may be woven or knitted into a loose textile product for incorporation into a wound dressing.
This could lead to more timely, effective and relevant treatments by doctors and nurses and to limited self-diagnosis by patients allowing faster closure of the wounds.