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Smart Bandage Indicates Tissue Oxygenation

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 06:22AM

Doctors, like many professionals, need information to best perform, but getting the vital information can be difficult. One example is tissue oxygenation, which is indicative and healing but typically is hard to record in noninvasive and accurate ways. As reported in The Optical Society's Biomedical Optics Express journal, researchers have created a smart bandage that will actually glow to indicate tissue oxygenation.

The bandage as actually a viscous fluid one would apply to a wound, and in a minute it will dry into a thin film. A transparent barrier layer is then placed on top to protect the bandage and reduce the amount of oxygen from the environment that reaches it. Within that bandage are phosphors, like those used in glow-in-the-dark inks. This particular phosphor reacts to oxygen by glowing for longer and brighter, when less is present. A camera-based readout device is then used to actually read the oxygenation information, by providing the light to get the phosphors glowing, and the camera to measure the brightness or color of the light. Regular digital cameras, like those on smartphones, could fill this role, which would help bring this technology to the field.

The researchers developed this technology to aid wounded soldiers, as tissue oxygenation information can help doctors deal with severe wounds and burns, even improving the success of surgeries. Next the researchers are looking to expand the bandage's sensing capability, and possibly add an on-demand drug delivery system.

Source: The Optical Society

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