New Bandage Glows in Presence of Infection

British researchers have created a bandage that warns of common infections by turning a fluorescent green within four hours of pathogen detection.

While a bandage often helps to keep a wound clean and free from infection, a bandage can also provide false reassurance when an infection is actually brewing just below the bandage. To fight this problem, researchers from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath created a wound dressing made of a hydrated agarose film that contains fluorescent dye. The dye is activated in the presence of common pathogens that inhabit wound healing, including S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and E. faecalis).

On track for clinical testing

While not yet tested on humans, the lead researcher Toby Jenkins told Technology Review that the new bandage is expected not only alert medical professionals to an infection, but in some cases could even help avoid the need for antibiotics. The researchers’ work is hoped to be ready for clinical testing by 2018.

You can read more about this research here and in the researchers’ published work.