A smart wound dressing with built-in nanosensors has been revealed by researchers

Service Engineering

A smart wound dressing with built-in nanosensors has been revealed by researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne. The smart dressings harness the antifungal and antibacterial properties of magnesium hydroxide and are more affordable to produce than silver-based dressings.

The study, which was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, is the first of its type to generate fluorescent magnesium hydroxide nanosheets that can adapt to the curves of bandage threads.

“A smart wound dressing with built-in nanosensors has been revealed by researchers.“

The nanofibers are installed with magnesium hydroxide nanosheets and react to variations in pH; thus, making them ideal for use as sensors to trace healing.

In addition, under UV light and alkaline environments, the nanosheets glow brightly and fade in acidic conditions, conveying the various pH levels that indicate the stages of a healing wound.

Furthermore, the nanosheets are easily integrated onto any biocompatible nanofibre, and laboratory tests convey that the magnesium hydroxide nanosheets were non-toxic to human cells while they destroyed emerging pathogens.

A Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT and project lead, Dr Vi Khanh Truong, stated: “Currently, the only way to check the progress of wounds is by removing bandage dressings, which is both painful and risky, giving pathogens the chance to attack. The smart dressings we’ve developed not only fight bacteria and reduce inflammation to help promote healing, they also have glowing sensors to track and monitor for infection. Being able to easily see if something is going wrong would reduce the need for frequent dressing changes and help to keep wounds better protected. With further research, we hope our multifunctional dressings could become part of a new generation of low-cost, magnesium-based technologies for advanced wound care. Normally, antimicrobial wound dressings start to lose their performance after a few days but our studies show these new dressings could last up to 7 days. And because magnesium is so abundant compared to silver, our advanced dressings could be up to twenty times cheaper.”

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