Caltech professor Wei Gao has developed a smart bandage for chronic wounds, made from a flexible and stretchy polymer containing embedded electronics and medication. The electronics allow the sensor to monitor uric acid, lactate, pH level and wound temperature, indicating inflammation or bacterial infection.
Data from the wound is transmitted wirelessly to the patient or doctor. Antibiotics (or other medication) stored within the bandage is released directly, as needed, to the wound site. A low-level electrical field can stimulate tissue growth, resulting in faster healing.
In animal models, the bandages provided real-time updates about wound conditions and metabolic states, and helped chronic infected wounds (similar to those found in humans) heal faster.
Wei Gao discussed skin-interfaced wearable biosensors at ApplySci Silicon Valley, held on Sand Hill road in 2020.