29 Nov 2021

Smart bandage uses phone app to monitor wound healing remotely

Above: Complete moisture sensors architecture. (A) Cross section of the Gauzes PET and Rayon with the diffusion profile of a coloured drop. (B) Optical image of the final textile moisture sensor prototype. (C) Structure of the bandage sensor showing the three different composition layers. (D) Cross section and top views of the two absorbing layers used as reservoir substrate highlighting their different wettability.

Work at the University of Bologna has produced a smart wireless bandage allows doctors to monitor the healing progress of a wound without physically removing it.

One of the main problems of hard-to-heal wounds is monitoring their healing progress. Currently, clinicians monitor the wound’s status by removing the dressing, disturbing the healing process.
A relevant parameter that they need to monitor is wound moisture. A low amount of exudate can desiccate the wound, while a high level of moisture will lead to maceration. So to optimise the healing process, it is particularly important to maintain an optimum level of moisture, while limiting unnecessary dressing changes.

An innovative approach to address this issue is to design a bandage with an integrated moisture sensor. In work at the University of Bologna, a textile sensor has been developed based on a conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) that discriminates wound’s moisture level. PEDOT:PSS is screen printed on a gauze to a specific geometry. Exploiting its intrinsic electrochemical properties, the sensor operates in real time by monitoring impedance variations that span over several orders of magnitude between dry and wet states. The sensor is directly integrated with an RFID chip, implementing a real-time wireless monitoring. The final device results in a low-cost, user friendly, disposable and wirelessly connected patch.

Wireless Textile Moisture Sensor for Wound Care

Supplementary Material