Smart Bandage Biosensors

There have been a series of smart bandages developed in recent years, and one of the latest is a bandage that changes color depending on what type of infection is present. A prime advantage of a smart bandage is early diagnosis that will assist physicians in diagnosing and prescribing the right antibiotic in the earliest stages of an infection.

For the majority of wounds, an advanced smart bandage may be a little overkill. But there is a large market for patients that could face serious risks from an infection. According to the CDC, almost 400,000 patients each year are affected by surgical site infections. Add this to the 24 million diabetic Americans that are at risk for foot ulcers and you have a market that is estimated to grow at a rate of almost 5% per year.

Smart bandages are constructed around sub-millimeter-sized silicon wafer sensors impregnated into the cloth. First-generation technologies are designed to differentiate between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Researchers next goal is to include other types of bacteria, such as salmonella, listeria, and enteropathogenic E. coli.

However, due to costs, the technology may not be applicable everyone. But for already compromised patients, early detection could mean the difference between taking an antibiotic or a more serious intervention.

James Laskaris, EE, BME
James Laskaris, EE, BME, Clinical Analyst — Mr. James Laskaris is a senior emerging technology analyst at MD Buyline and has been with the company since 1994. With over 30 years of experience in the healthcare field, Mr. Laskaris is the primary analyst of high-end OR technology. He also covers issues related to the legislative and reimbursement effect on healthcare and authors a bimonthly “Issues that Matter” publication. Mr. Laskaris received his biomedical engineering degree from Southern Illinois University. His work has been published in hfm Magazine, Radiology Manager and Healthcare Purchasing News.